The restaurant is hosted by a building covering an entire urban block. The block has a dense grid of structural columns that must be maintained in any future proposal. Currently, at entry, users of the restaurant are confronted by a maze of walls; movement through the space is disjointed. Good natural light is only possible from within the existing courtyard.
A new sequence of spaces are to reveal, obscure and conceal activity. Three main zones, each distinct in character, will be defined by their material, texture and lighting, establishing legibility through the spaces. A glass box will let light into the sub-terrain and define a domain for formal dining at the core of the design.
Street presence is created through a framed entrance with a material reference that flows down in to the sub-terrain restaurant. The structural integrity of the existing building is retained and integrated; columns are exposed as a trace of the order of the building that sits above. Levels of formal and informal dining, with secluded and exposed spaces, are provided for a ranging and changeable audience. Completely enclosed private rooms facilitate secret liaisons and discrete meetings, accessed through a hidden passage.