Project team:


Architects: Rockwell Group
Lighting design: Focus Lighting, Inc. – Michael Cummings, Juan Pablo Lira, Samuel Kitchel, Jenny Nicholas, Rachael Stoner, David Kinkade, Dan Nichols

05. Sep 2014

A grand job

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Warren Jagger

TAO Downtown is tucked under the Maritime Hotel amidst a sea of trendy restaurants in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood. Given that there are already over 16,000 full service restaurants in New York City, it takes a good deal of positive thinking, if not boundless selfconfidence, to believe that a new one is bound to beat the rest. A restaurant’s reputation lives or dies depending on the quality of the food – and the service, and the cleanliness, and the overall atmosphere. So what works here?

The architects who designed TAO Downtown, the Rockwell Group, re-envisioned the two-storey space as a “Gotham speakeasy with Asian influences”. The restaurant, bar and lounge layer raw and industrial elements, and feature vintage Asian-influenced details. The lighting designers from Focus Lighting, who have worked on a wide range of projects with the Rockwell Group, were again involved in the design process at an early stage. After receiving a brief presentation of the architectural concept they generated an initial lighting design concept, which was presented, first to the architect and then to the owner, for feedback and approval. The resulting scheme is designed to allow patrons to gain a clear overview of the dining spaces, the bar and the circulation areas. It is not bright but comprises some stunning effects; it is carefully laid out without being predictable, and it supports the architects’ intent to a tee. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 94
And our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store) contains a media-enhanced version.

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