Buena Noche

When former Windows on the World owner David Emil took over the half-built David Copperfield’s restaurant in Times Square for Noche, his new Cuban eatery, he got a 40-foot-tall room capped with a gigantic metal truss in the bargain. Originally designed as a setting for the famous magician’s illusions, the room was unique to say the least. But the central feature—a translucent dome skylight supported by bridgelike iron beams—lends a postindustrial decadence oddly appropriate to Emil’s Old Havana theme. It also provided dramatic possibilities for architect David Rockwell and Paul Gregory of Focus Lighting, who designed the dome to gradually change color—from salmon pink to blood red to turquoise to green—in 15-minute cycles. Additional ambient light ripples up the room’s orange walls behind hanging wooden slats. “The glow that comes onto you is like sitting next to a fire,” Gregory says. “People like light that comes from the side. Sunset is much nicer than noon.”