With designs around the world, founder Chris Smith brings his love of food and cooking to the architecture world, and has created a niche in the architectural industry.
ARCHITECTURE LEADERS TODAY
T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R C A P TA I N S O F I N D U S T RY www.architectureleaderstoday.com
2 Spring 2011
above by Felecia Willis
President and CEO of CMS Architecture and Design, Chris Smith, is proud of his modest beginnings. He graduated from Syracuse University in upstate New York with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Armed with a background in high-end residential design and construction management, he joined the Rockwell Group as Design Director and managed a studio team responsible for producing the high-profile project of Nobu, New York. “The first job that I had was a little Japanese restaurant called Nobu in TriBeCa. It was a very hands-on job,” Smith said. “From there I moved my residence to TriBeCa and purchased a building with a few other guys. I opened my own restaurant there in 1997 with Drew Nieporent, a friend I worked with on Nobu who is currently the managing partner there.” Smith and Nieporent opened City Wine and Cigar Company, which Drew managed until the smoking ban went into effect and they had to close. “Ever since then, we’ve formed a niche in the hospitality business, mostly restaurants and hotels.” Established in 1991 by Smith, CMS is a full service Architectural and Interior Design firm specializing in hospitality, restaurants, and entertainment, as well as high-end residential design. The firm has been afforded the opportunity to build structures around the world which are considered by experts in the field to be unsurpassed in workmanship. Destinations such as Chicago, Boston, Boca Raton, Costa Mesa, Las Vegas, Tysons Corner, New York City and Scottsdale as well as Waikiki, Tokyo, Jakarta and Kuwait can all boast buildings designed and constructed by CMS Architecture and Design. Following the closing of City Wine and Cigar Company, Smith developed a new
beyond with a love of food and passion for design, CMS Architecture founder Chris Smith found his niche in the industry
THIS SPREAD: Charlie Palmer, South Coast Plaza. The lower level wine room in the two-story lobby. Photo by Doug Gifford.
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THIS PAGE: (TOP) ZED, Chicago. View from rooftop bar showing trellis cabanas, clerestory looking at bar below, outdoor see-thru fireplace and atrium. Photo by Mitch Tobias. (LEFT) ZED Mizner Park, Boca Raton, Fla. The bar features a board-formed poured concrete bar die with walnut top. The trelis of Western red cedar continues to the outdoor bar and lounge. The outside bar features a customdesigned water feature which defines the intimate lounge areas under the trellis along the street. The fireside dining lounge in the left foreground with a see-through fireplace looks into the wine room. Photo by Robert Brantley. OPPOSITE PAGE: ZED, Chicago. The view at central harvest station looking towards Chefâ€™s table. Photo by Mitch Tobias.
concept: an American style bistro called DYLAN Prime, and re-opened as a partnership with Drink Tank. As architect, owner and operator of his own restaurants, Smith has several successful restaurant design projects to his credit. With an enthusiasm for design and a love of food and wine, he created and developed his own restaurant concept, an American style bistro called DYLAN Prime as a partnership with Drink Tank. Smith also acted as architect and developer on two upscale residential and mixed use urban development projects in TriBeCa. The Dietz Lantern building is a mixed use commercial and residential condominium where DYLAN Prime is located, as well as its own 32 unit 110,000 sq. ft. residential development, Cobblestone Lofts. CMS Architecture and Design has big plans for the future. In moving forward, the company has set its sights on mixed-use master planning.
4 Spring 2011
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THIS PAGE: The exterior of INOX, Tyson’s Corner, Va. (TOP) shows off CMS' use of glass and lighting to create an ambiance that spills out in the street. Likewise, with the exterior of ZED Chicago (LEFT) highlights the winding staircase drawing in an outside viewer. OPPOSITE PAGE: The view at the entry of INOX and the live edge walnut bar top. Photos by Eric Buechel.
“Developers anchor retail spaces with venues like restaurants, bowling centers, entertainment complexes, and other venues. So we find that CMS is often in the beginning development phases of those plans. We come in as an anchor designer, and a lot of developers have asked our input to help them plan for those types of venues,” Smith said. In acclaimed recognition, Smith was chosen by the New York City Mayor’s office to participate in the Design Workshop for Lower Manhattan. The focus of the open forums was to model three potential futures for Lower Manhattan: Global Office Center, Creative Hubs, and Livable Neighborhoods. The plan also aims to help members of the community to understand the policy decisions associated with each. The thesis of the workshop is currently being used as a guideline for the work being done by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation around Ground Zero. Being involved in the planning for this project is a proud undertaking by Smith, and for CMS Architecture and Design, it is evident that the sky is the limit. ALT
6 Spring 2011
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