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,…

Vivian Loftness: Interior Design

If someone asked you to describe the contemporary American workplace, intelligent is probably not a word you would use. Sure, the typical office hums with an impressive array of technology, but the physical environment—the fluorescent-lit landscape of cubicles and computer monitors where many of us spend our weekdays—is, if not inhospitable to humans, certainly not ideal. And intelligent? The notion…

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 State of California

Remember the Kyoto Protocol? This unprecedented agreement supported by 156 countries set limits on greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change. But we—the country responsible for a disproportionate amount of CO2 emissions—didn’t ratify it. The Clinton administration fought to get the United States to commit, but special interests blocked the measure in Congress. Since George W. Bush…

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…

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