Martin Architects

Martin Architects

Sagaponack, NY


Wolffer Kitchen

The objective was to suggest aspects of sleek urban wine bars while evoking a mood reminiscent of the traditional quality of Wolffer Estate’s premises in Sagaponack.  The restaurant was completely refinished and structured, and the project brief included the design of shelving, lighting, upholstery, the restaurant façade and windows, apartment access lobby and stair and outdoor dining patio.

In response to the emergence of a sidewalk dining culture in Sag Harbor, this restaurant design opens the full width of the ground floor facade to establish the strongest possible connection to the lively activity on the Main Street in the Spring, Summer, and early Autumn months.  The proportions of the new bi-fold doors coordinate well with that of the historical façade.

Conceptual inspiration came from the methods and materials of wine making.  Grapes are harvested, crushed, and stored in wood barrels bound with steel straps.  There the liquid ages and ferments, eventually to be transferred into glass bottles sealed with a cork.  The design of the Wolffer Kitchen reflects upon this process by using the same materials in the definition of the architectural space. 

The material palette consists of glass, cork, and, steel.  Natural and aged textures are contrasted with refined counterparts.  For example, the rusted CorTen steel panel railing finds its counterpart in the steel framing at the bar, façade window materials, and pendant lamps.  A light-colored timber floor juxtaposes the glow of a painted golden ochre ceiling.  The patina of antique mirror surfaces establishes a dialogue with the crisp geometry of frameless glass shelving.  Marbled cork wall panels are texturally similar to the swirling patterns of the mirrors.   The gold palette establishes a warm ambience reminiscent of the glow of a white wine and evocative of precious materials.  Reclaimed wood is used as a bar cladding and also as a substrate for cheerful murals by a local painter.   The subject matter of these artworks draws upon the agricultural and equestrian culture of the region. 

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Status: Built
Location: Sag Harbor, NY, US
Firm Role: Architect