Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine January 2006

 

The Art of Dining Act Six: Epilogue

When asked how Nobu 57 influenced his firm’s subsequent work, David Rockwell says, “The inspirations that filter down from project to project are never quite as clear as they appear to others later.” This is no doubt especially true for the Rockwell Group, which is currently working on dozens of projects across a multitude of disciplines, including health-care facilities, hotels,…

The Art of Dining Act Five: Credits

To enhance the atmosphere of Nobu 57, the Rockwell Group collaborated with artisans on a handful of artistic installations. Naturally occurring materials, references to marine life, and nods to traditional Japanese culture helped ensure continuity among the elements. January 1, 2006 Categories: Uncategorized

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…

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:…

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…

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.

Visionaries: Introduction

Visionary thinking requires optimism. Why bother reaching for the stars if you’re convinced we’re all headed straight to hell? These days genuine optimism is in short supply for a very good reason. We may in fact all be headed for some earthly purgatory involving impending global calamity. So how do we proceed? (Passivity and nihilism are not options.) We think…

John Thackara: Cultural Theory

John Thackara, former director of the Netherlands Design Institute, has spent the past decade championing smart design with a conference series, Web site, and global network—based in Amsterdam and Bangalore—called Doors of Perception. Metropolis senior editor Paul Makovsky spoke to Thackara about his latest project, “Designs of the Time (DOTT)”; his new book, In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex…

Ismaïl Serageldin: Architecture

In 2000 I stumbled upon a book titled The Architecture of Empowerment: People, Shelter and Livable Cities on the disorderly bookshelves of Metropolis and was immediately captivated. Published a few years earlier and edited by Egyptian architect Ismaïl Serageldin, then vice president for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development at the World Bank, it seemed like the perfect antidote to the…

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…

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…