Often converted industrial spaces are softened up with chic details for the sake of contrast. Longman & Eagle's latest addition, the 120 sq foot Off Site Bar revels in its cinderblock and industrial garage door construction. Land and Sea Dept., which headed up the renovation of the two bay garage into a bar, commercial kitchen, event space and tasting room writes, "We referenced its original use, and incorporated a variety of ‘garage’ elements into the overall aesthetic, the most prominent of which is a working seventies drag racing motorcycle. Other elements include a considered beverage program, tightly curated music and vintage audio equipment." That's to say it still looks like a garage space, one outfitted with McIntosh amplifiers, monster speakers and a gnarly yellow motorcycle, as well as art objects from the multi-talented Ryan Duggan.
Photos courtesy of Clayton Hauck
Copenhagen's noma is one of the most talked about restaurants in Scandinavia. Chef Redzepi revives traditional Nordic cooking techniques in regional and overlooked ingredients of the type Vikings might have tasted after battle: bone marrow, moss, wild berries. It's the number one restaurant in the world on the S. Pellegrino survey for 2011. And naturally, Anthony Bourdain is a big fan.
It was redesigned in mid 2012—and Copenhagen's Space got the gig. Space has been behind some of the more sublime restaurant designs we've run across in recent years. The designers often leave a bit of the worn and rough edges on a refurbed space to contrast with modern clean lines and the comfort of a timeless leather chair. The designers had only three weeks to work while the noma crew was at the London Olympics, but they turned out a space that's unpretentious, yet special, where the focus is placed on the unusual offerings from the kitchen.
Cool, sophisticated grey replaced a warm, almost too casual wood in the original version. The rough columns of the original warehouse remain, but they're done in an icy white now. The floor was replaced with wider oak panels to enhance the rustic feel. The philosophy is to let the food star in the show. Space partners Peter Bundgaard Rützou and Signe Bindslev Henriksen say, "After quite a long initial sketching period, we all came to the conclusion that it seemed forced and pretentious for a place like noma to do something too conceptual or formally upscale...it is important that the space is not perceived as a superficial layer between the customer and the actual food experience." With a tasting menu that starts near $300 before wine, that seems like a wise design decision.