Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine January 2006

 

Jaime Lerner: Architecture/Urban Planning

The street where he grew up evokes fond memories for Jaime Lerner. He remembers keeping time by the clock of a nearby train station, recalls the hiss of the irons at the tailor’s shop, the smell of the café where he’d stop for coffee after a hard evening of study. “My neighborhood had everything,” he says. “It gave me an…

The Art of Dining Act Four: Backstage

Rather than standing on its own, as in most Japanese restaurants, a Nobu sushi bar always acts as a connector between the kitchen and the dining room. “Once the bar is blocked in, the layout of everything else automatically falls into place,” Shawn Sullivan, project manager of Nobu 57 and principal at the Rockwell Group, says. The kitchen and bar…

David Burney: Architecture/Urban Planning

When he moved from London to New York in 1982, David Burney says, “You could count the number of good new buildings in this city on the fingers of one hand.” If that has changed, it is due in part to Burney, who as director of design and capital improvement for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for 13…

Vikram Sheel Kumar: Software Design

Dimagi—the name of Vikram Sheel Kumar’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, medical software company—means “smart guy” in Hindi. So it’s interesting that so many of the 29-year-old CEO’s smarts come down to good sense. As a graduate student at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Kumar found himself pondering the problem of adherence—the difficulty of creating “sticky systems” that encourage patients…

The Art of Dining Act Three: The Food

At the Rockwell Group there’s often an intimate connection between food and the architecture where it is served. “One of the keys to designing a successful restaurant is to create the story,” Rockwell says. Part of that process here involved talking to chef Nobu Matsuhisa about his influences. Here’s how some culinary ideas ultimately inspired the design of Nobu 57:…

TV Frame

Featuring the work of three visual luminaries, Colorcalm’s “By Design” DVD turns flat-screen TVs into frames for ambient artworks. Dutch graphic designer Irma Boom presents shifting vertical bands of color that are based on works by artists from Caravaggio to Ellsworth Kelly. Peter Saville, famous for his New Order album covers, saturates the screen with colors to a sound track…

John Knott: Urban Planning

When John L. Knott Jr. talks about Noisette—his project to redevelop 3,000 acres in depressed North Charleston, South Carolina, over the next 20 years—he doesn’t sound like a man preaching a radical mission. In fact his reasoned tone suggests a motivation so simple as to be obvious: it’s the right thing to do. But what Knott is proposing is actually…

The Art of Dining Act Two: The Theater

David Rockwell has been in love with the theater since he saw Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway when he was eight years old. Here he talks to Metropolis senior editor Paul Makovsky about growing up in the performing arts, highlights some of his favorite stage scenes, and points out the key characteristics that make theater and restaurants such powerful…

Trashlight

Stuart Haygarth’s chandeliers find a surprising source of beauty in discarded trinkets and trash. “I don’t like creating things solely to look good,” the British designer says. “There should be a concept or story behind them.” Haygarth’s interest in garbage and narrative began during his 15 years working as a photographer and illustrator. “It’s object-based work, so I was always…

Jonathan Ive: Product Design

“I don’t ever talk about this,” says Jonathan Ive, attempting to describe the deep working relationship his team has developed over the years. “I don’t think anyone would understand.” As head of design at Apple, he is arguably the most influential product designer in America, if not the world. But he is shy and soft-spoken, with closely cropped hair and…

The Art of Dining Act One: The Set

The first move in restaurant design is almost always a spatial one: the parameters of the box—the stage set, if you will—must be defined before visual themes begin to emerge. At Nobu 57, the Rockwell Group inherited an awkward but highly public location on West 57th Street—home to a former ski shop on the ground floor and, according to Rockwell,…

The Art of Dining

David Rockwell helped create the phenomenon of destination dining. Now his firm brings its unique brand of stagecraft to Nobu 57.

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