Hospitality Design - March 2011 - 126
The restaurant’s unusual shape—a freestanding glass structure topped by a grass-covered roof in a sloping hyperbolic paraboloid shape— helped determine both its décor and lighting. With transparent, exterior, glass fin curtain walls, the restaurant is filled during the day with natural light, while in the evening light shines in from the outside, all the while giving guests birds-eye views of the adjacent Henry Moore sculpture and pool and surrounding streets. “We wanted to make it a real pavilion, with connection from the inside out and the outside in. It reflects and creates life and activity on the plaza,” says Kevin Rice, DS+R’s project director. There are three distinct dining areas, the farthest west being both the largest and the area where the roof swoops down the lowest, to six feet. Rice and team designed a series of circular banquettes to occupy the space here between the ceiling and the floor. The central dining area directly faces the kitchen, while the eastern dining area is the most open section and has the restaurant’s highest point, 19 feet in one corner. The slanted ceiling is covered with red mahogany planks, which
Rice says echo other red woods they used elsewhere at Lincoln Center, particularly Alice Tully Hall, the concert hall across the street. To offset the darkness of the ceiling, Rice employed a neutral palette and natural materials throughout: bleached, figured maple veneer wrapping columns, some walls, banquettes, and wait stations; Azul Ataija limestone tiles on floors; beige carpet with a design inspired by a digitized photo of travertine found on the exterior of many Lincoln Center buildings; and cream leather upholstery, used on bar stools and custom-made chrome chairs. A splash of color comes in the form of banquette upholstery that’s blue and bronze pocket-weave Italian fabric with what Rice calls a “traditional damask,” albeit oversize design. “[The furnishings] set the ceiling off. It’s a plane against which all things happen,” Rice says, adding that the ceiling made lighting a challenge, which is provided by halogen downlighting within the mahogany planks, and uplighting in the floor. hd www.dsrny.com; www.patinagroup.com
Below: An open kitchen as the focal point was a must for Patina Restaurant Group. Opposite page, top, from left: A dramatic staircase done in bleached, figured maple veneer and limestone tiles leads to the restaurant’s street entrance; a view of the more eastern dining room and its glassed-in wine cellar.