The atmosphere is pure New York School, the famous informal group of American poets, painters, dancers and musicians who through action painting, jazz, improvised theater and experimental music, represented New York abstract expressionism of the ’50s and ’60s. Neiman Marcus, a renowned luxury retail chain founded in 1907, wanted to restore the spirit of the city’s avant-garde artists in the rooms of his new The Zodiac Room restaurant at Hudson Yards. To achieve this, the store commissioned AvroKO, an interior design practice that has distinguished itself in the hospitality sector through projects in 22 countries and 32 cities since 2001. For The Zodiac Room project, the practice reinterpreted the classic lines of New York formalism in a more contemporary style that celebrates the brand’s prominence in culture, cuisine and fashion.
The interior space is divided into three distinct areas, three different experiences that accompany guests through a crescendo of formalism and elegance. The brass wall separating the dining area from the retail store makes the initial welcome. Conceived as a veritable entry façade, it stands out for its glass windows shielded using laser-cut brass motifs, for the perforated brass details that are repeated within the restaurant. As soon as guests enter, they are welcomed by the relaxing atmosphere of the lounge area, with its warm wood floors and armchairs and tables in comforting hues. Sporting a large stone counter embellished with a carved ceramic surround, the bar is framed by voluptuous cerulean blue pleated curtains. The color palette in this first room ranges from slate blue to dove grey, set off by warm-hued walls and brass details.
The second room is the “frontal” dining room, the most accessible one, which includes a double central seating area flanked by small tables that run throughout the room. The ceiling is enlivened by brass pendants off which the light bounces, setting off evocative glints. The flooring, composed of severe black marble tiles, is interrupted by the clear-toned carpets on which the tables and chairs rest. To the west side of the room is a triad of Hollywood-style tables for small groups who are seeking convivial intimacy; a private dining room, separated from the rest by a velvet curtain, lies on the opposite side, next to the elegant wine display wall. The main dining room is located centrally, divided by a raised wooden pareo with personalized perforated brass details. The perimeter is marked by arches that frame wall panels padded with refined
hand-embroidered canvases. The overall look is enhanced by natural light flooding in from the large end window that overlooks Tenth Avenue, offering a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
Location: New York, USA
Client: Neiman Marcus
Completion Date: 2019
Gross Floor Area: 800 m2
Interior Design, Custom Furniture and Lighting: AvroKO
Photography by Eric Laignel, courtesy of AvroKO
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