In this project, our third with Jean Georges and our second with ABC Home, we engaged these two strong design minded entities to make a special and unique restaurant experience that offers a non-GMO, sustainable, and artisanal menu. The design concept is to reflect this menu, which engages diners taste buds alongside their well-being in our planet’s ecosystems.
The ABC Home team, lead by Paulette Cole, conceptualized a space of light – specifically white light that would promote their core precepts of design: “indigenous, creative, and higher intelligence,” to form what she calls a ‘sacred space’.
Chef Jean-Georges and partner Phil Suarez wanted to challenge the notions of both vegetarian cuisine and also how it may be served to multiple audiences during a day, including counter service.
Bringing these goals together became more of a research project than a building project at times. Working closely for years, many ideas were developed into an architectural solutions through engagement with farmers, hydroponics experts, lighting designers, multiple chefs, and a range of artists.
The spatial composition of the restaurant progresses from the entry (subdominant) to the dining room (dominant). Both rooms host multiple population throughout a day. To understand this space it’s better to think of in the context of time, where each element must be provisionally able to serve multiple functions and audiences.
The idea of provisional occupation of the space by different types of meal services throughout a day was challenge to integrate into the layout. The front room where patrons enter is organized by two parallels counters, one being a juice bar by morning and a wine/liquor bar at night, and the other counter being breakfast, lunch and coffee service to go, then adding stools at night to become a dining bar. All this happens without falling into the trappings of becoming a grab and go café model. The back dining room transitions during the day from breakfast service to late night. Special programmable lighting dims through the day.
Functions of the kitchen are on display through transparent ‘glass Italia’ interior custom storefront, exhibiting the making of cuisine on cold, hot and wood fired devises. White powder coated steel unifies the space, whether existing or new, with purposeful elimination of visible fasteners like a Charles Sheeler painting. Textiles and stone found objects adorn the walls from the ABC Home collection reinforcing sacred geometries and indigenous artistry.