An important architectural monument and landmark building in New York, Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft and completed in 1952, was acquired by real estate magnates Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs in 1998. In a state of disrepair at the time, they undertook a sizeable renovation project to restore the building with modern materials while preserving the aesthetic and spirit of the original designs. As part of the project, Marc was asked to design a restaurant for the building’s ground floor.
The space, a former viewing room had no windows to the street, which Marc describes as “actually a good thing from a design standpoint, because it gave more canvas space.” Making use of the lack of windows, Marc sought to create a warm, intimate environment, making diners feel “encapsulated.” One of the most important materials used in the restaurant was the Japanese plaster used on all the coved walls and ceiling, separated by wooden expansion joints. The main source of light came from the hexagonal grid on the ceiling, which allowed the fixtures as well as the speakers, smoke sensors, air conditioning ducts, ventilation, and sprinklers to be concealed. The hexagon was a recurring theme in the restaurant’s design. It featured in the carpeting and on the mirrors an elongated hexagonal form defined the shape of the Corian-lined entry corridor, the booth wall openings, and even the seats of the chairs. The chairs, solid oak with leather upholstery, were precursors to the chairs later produced by Cappellini for the Qantas First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. —Marc Newson
Chair for the Qantas First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne
📷 Marc Newson