Located in the Time Square District, the large Italian restaurant occupies the lower 2 floors and cellar of a 5-story building. The new spaces, much larger than its predecessor several blocks away, had the challenge of projecting a warm, inviting environment of casual comfort in order to please their loyal patrons and attract new ones.
The design of the restaurant combines contemporary design with warm, natural materials to create an ambiance suggesting the archetypal “trattoria” with an updated twist. The ground floor contains a bar and a cafe with a dining area in the rear. Over the bar the ceiling is open to the floor above. Upstairs is a lounge with a bar and an additional dining space. This area is often used for private events and has a wine crystalline room adjacent to it. Service spaces, including the kitchen, are located in the cellar.
The main design features, together with the rustic inherent character of the existing building, create a modern notion of “trattoria”. The perimeter vaults are eccentric in curvature, rather than forming a continuous arc. Also, rather than appearing to hold up anything they instead seem to float. What appears to be a wood beamed ceiling over the main dining space is, upon closer inspection, seen to be a grid of wood and metal serving as a giant light fixture hung from the ceiling.
The existing building elements, like the brick and cast iron storefront, had been embedded and were revealed during the construction process. These existing elements and qualities were merged with new materials that were selected for their ability to age beautifully and be easy to maintain. These materials included Canyon Red quartzite stone in a honed finish, ash wood, blackened steel, Venetian plaster finishes and linen drapery.
Location: New York, NY, US