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UNIQUE APPLICATIONS IN ARCHITECTURE & LIGHT

ISSUE 1216 • 2016

In Tulane University’s Barbara Greenbaum House, ARO integrates living and learning in seamless, sustainable architecture

6 Barbara Greenbaum House Academy Performance and 16 IMG Sports Science Center Collegiate Community

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6 Barbara Greenbaum House Photos by Š Elizabeth Felicella / Esto

15 Design Workshop Academy Performance and 16 IMG Sports Science Center Photos by Gatorade/Eric Nalpas

26 Product Showcase

28 Agern

Photos by Evan Sung Photography

Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine, Issue Volume 1216, is published quarterly by Gow Industries, Inc., PO Box 160, Elkton, SD 57026. Editor: Camille LeFevre Postmaster: Send address changes to Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine, PO Box 160, Elkton, SD 57026 Subscription Inquiries: There is no charge for subscriptions to qualified requesters in the United States. All other annual domestic subscriptions will be charged $29 for standard delivery or $65 for air delivery. All subscriptions outside the U.S. are $65. For subscriptions, inquiries or address changes contact info@innovativedesignquarterly.com.

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Copyright Š 2016 Innovative Design Quarterly Magazine. All rights reserved. Nothing in publication may be copied or reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, but published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Innovative Design Quarterly and Gow Industries Inc, assume no responsibilities for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Printed in the USA.


TA B L E O F

CONTENTS Barbara Greenbaum House

IMG Academy Performance and Sports Science Center

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Barbara Greenbaum House

Architecture Research Office (ARO) and Waggonner & Ball Architects Adam Yarinsky, Principal, ARO Photos by Š Elizabeth Felicella / Esto

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Collegiate Community In Tulane University’s Barbara Greenbaum House, ARO integrates living and learning in seamless, sustainable architecture

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The genesis of this project was a 2008 residential college plan at Tulane University to combine student accommodations and academic components.” – Adam Yarinsky, Principal, ARO

For those of us of a certain age, the college dorm experience was one of relative isolation from the rest of campus life. We slept, showered and sometimes studied at our dorms. But socializing, dining, classes and the majority of study took place in different buildings scattered throughout the campus. Today, however, higher education is adopting a different approach, the “residential college model,” which combines academics and residential life in a setting designed to foster and support a sense of community. Originated in Great Britain, the residential college model was developed and honed at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham Universities. The first universities in the United States to establish the model, in the 1930s, were Harvard and Yale. Now the 21st century has a new benchmark for the residential college model: Barbara Greenbaum House at Tulane University in New Orleans. Designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO) in New York City, in collaboration with New Orleans firm Waggonner & Ball Architects, Greenbaum House seamlessly integrates sustainable living and learning spaces with stunning architecture. “The genesis of this project was a 2008 residential college plan at Tulane University to combine student accommodations and academic components,” says Adam Yarinsky, principal, ARO. “This holistic approach to student life condenses the University’s mission on a smaller scale. Especially with widespread access to wireless communications, today students can

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Light-filled spaces throughout the residence support student life and learning.

work or study in their rooms, in a lounge or in a social space. Greenbaum House enables and supports student life through its design.” Greenbaum House, located on the uptown campus of Tulane University, is a 79,000-squarefoot residential hall tucked into a corner lot left vacant on James Gamble Rogers’ 1912 campus quadrangle for Newcomb College, between Newcomb Hall and Josephine Louise (JL) House. “Designing Greenbaum House to strengthen the existing context—including the historic green

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space in Rogers’ plan—was a main driver,” Yarinsky says. Preserving and protecting existing live oak trees on the site, and designing with massing and scale similar to that of adjacent structures, ensured the new project’s contextual relevance. The project’s other principal driver, of course, was designing a residence hall that combined social (academic, study, lounge and common areas) and private (bedroom and bathroom) spaces. “New Orleans has a great tradition of courtyards,” Yarinsky says. “So we organized the common spaces to face the courtyard,” which lies between four-story and six-story wings, and an open four-story concrete bridge connecting the wings. Each level of the bridge is also an outdoor social space, with tables and chairs for studying, relaxing or conversation. The shaded courtyard is landscaped with shrubs and trees in planters and outfitted with seating areas, so this gathering space is habitable even in hot, summer weather. The east, west and south courtyard façades are clad in pre-weathered zinc, with full-height glass at the social, study and circulation spaces; horizontal zinc flashing at each floor level; and narrow windows with green-colored glazing. Together, these components create a dynamic composition that “reflects the activity of gathering and collaboration in the common areas,” Yarinsky says. Ringing the courtyard at the ground-floor level are glass-walled public and common areas. Beneath the bridge, the building opens into the light-filled, glass-clad lobby in which green and blue walls, wood-strip ceilings and soffit lighting provide a sense of home-like warmth, as well as clear wayfinding. A generous stair (which doubles as the fire stair) of precast concrete steps and landings encourages students to walk to the upper floors. Other common areas on the main level include a multi-purpose room with a demonstration kitchen. “One way in which a residential college operates is to create connections between students through different activities,” Yarinsky explains. “Because New Orleans is a very food-oriented city, the demonstration kitchen has already given Greenbaum House the opportunity to bring in chefs that have provided the students with fun culinary experiences.” Greenbaum House’s main living room, with comfy chairs and couches, is also located on the main level. Folding wall panels enable the living room and multi-purpose room to be joined for large events. The building’s post-tensioned concrete structure is expressed on the main level, in columns and walls, as well as on the multi-level

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The building’s light-filled, glass-clad lobby welcomes residents and visitors with green and blue walls, wood-strip ceilings and soffit lighting that provides a sense of home-like warmth.

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bridge. The main level also includes apartments for the faculty-in-residence and the community director. Conversely, on the upper floors, the bedrooms—144 rooms for 256 students organized in eight, 32-bed clusters of single- and double-occupancy suites—face outward with views of the neighborhood, city and the Mississippi River, providing students with privacy, daylight and views. On this side, ARO clad the building in red brick matching that used on JL House and Newcomb Hall. Regularly spaced windows register the scale of each bedroom and respond to the façade composition of adjacent historic buildings. Variations in the depth of the brick walls provide visual interest.

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New Orleans has a great tradition of courtyards, so we organized the common spaces to face the courtyard.” – Adam Yarinsky, Principal, ARO

The building’s concrete bridge connects the upper levels with plenty of open gathering space. The bridge also wraps around the shaded courtyard.

On each upper floor, daylit circulation corridors encourage social interaction between students and flow into common spaces: open social areas (kitchen and tv lounges with soft seating) and glass-enclosed study rooms with tables and a white board—all of which face inward to the courtyard. Entry into each pair of bedrooms is from a shared alcove that faces large windows to the courtyard. Green walls between alcoves and exposed concrete columns punctuate the space. The majority of bedrooms are shared doubles, with singles and accessible rooms comprising the balance of the other rooms. Each bedroom has a lavatory, with shower and toilet located in a separate room shared between bedrooms. All rooms in Greenbaum House, including

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Glass-walled study spaces and lounges throughout the residence open onto the courtyard and the bridge connecting the residence’s upper levels.

bedrooms and baths, have LED lighting and occupancy sensors. Each pair of bedrooms also has its own separately zoned heating and cooling. Other sustainable-design strategies that led to Greenbaum House’s LEED Gold rating include high-performance glass, a well-insulated and sealed building envelope, high-efficiency gas boilers for domestic water and heat, connection to the university’s chilled-water system for air conditioning, and minimizing the structure’s footprint and impact on the existing site during planning, design and construction. In the lobby, beside the reception desk, a monitor displays energy-performance information for students and staff. In a letter describing the project for a recent award submission, Yvette M. Jones, executive vice president for University Relations and Development at Tulane, lauded the firm’s “successful response to Tulane’s needs, history and culture” through a design for the Greenbaum House that reaffirmed the “academic and student life requirements of the Tulane campus.” Sustainability goals set by the university “were exceeded with the team’s creativity and innovative approach,” she wrote. Moreover, ARO “integrat[ed] the planning principles, architectural proportions and materials of the historic Newcomb Campus while speaking in a modern architectural voice.” “A pivotal and transformative project,” the Barbara Greenbaum House, Jones added, receives ongoing “positive feedback from the student residents on the many ways the design creates community engagement through its organization, takes advantage of the unique views to the live oaks, campus and the city, and thrives through its vibrancy of visual connections and color.” In other words, the project sets a new benchmark for the residential college model. By using design to innovatively integrate living and learning in a reciprocal relationship, Greenbaum House supports how students engage in independent and collaborative work today. n – CLF

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DESIGN

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High Performance Fawley Bryant Architecture expands Gatorade’s first satellite Sports Science Institute with the design of a new Performance and Sports Science Center at IMG Academy

IMG Academy Performance and Sports Science Center Fawley Bryant Architecture Steve Padgett, Executive VP, Fawley Bryant Stuart Henderson, Director of Design, Fawley Bryant Photos by Gatorade/Eric Nalpas

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Since the formulation of its first sports beverage at the University of Florida in 1965, Gatorade has been dedicated to building better athletes—and enhancing their performance—through science and technology. In 1985, the sports nutrition company founded the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) at its corporate headquarters in Barrington, IL. The institute helps athletes optimize their health and performance through research and education in hydration and nutrition science. In 2011, Gatorade constructed its first satellite GSSI, designed by Fawley Bryant Architecture in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL, on the campus of IMG Academy in Bradenton. The academy was founded in 1978 by tennis coach Nick Bollettieri (who developed such talents as Andre Agassi, Venus Williams and Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova) as the first full-time tennis boarding school in the world. Bollettieri’s intention was to offer young athletes the same training as professional athletes, while helping them achieve academic excellence. In 1987, IMG purchased the academy and began adding other sports to its curriculum. Today, IMG Academy is the United States’ premiere multi-sport boarding school, with more than 1,000 students from more than 80 countries. In addition to IMG students, professional athletes from the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, Women’s Tennis Association and NCAA Football would undergo testing at IMG Academy’s 1,600-square-foot GSSI to determine the effects Concealed & Vandal-Proof of sports nutrition on performance. So did team Fire Alarms and Emergency Lighting Systems athletes from international professional football (or soccer), cricket, gymnastics, badminton and field hockey. Now fire alarm and The GSSI lab also tested body composition, muscle strength, metabolic heart rate, motor skills and other characteristics in student, amateur and professional athletes. The lab studied the effects of warm weather on athletes playing football, soccer, tennis and golf. In turn, GSSI researchers investigated how exercise, environment, hydration and nutrition correlate to increase performance, in order to help athletes at every level of competition perform better and recover faster.

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It was a thrill to work on a new expanded concept, and to learn how the research has advanced and where Gatorade hopes to go programmatically in the future.” – Steve Padgett, Executive VP, Fawley Bryant

IMG Academy is the U.S.’s premiere multi-sport boarding school and the site of Gatorade’s first and new satellite Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

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while planning a new 65,000-square-foot IMG Academy Performance and Sports Science Center, the academy, in collaboration with Gatorade, decided to incorporate a new, 9,200-square-foot GSSI satellite lab into the center. Also designed by Fawley Bryant (over the years the firm has designed IMG’s fieldhouse, pressbox, multi-sport complex and baseball complex, as well), the new center houses equipment and technologies to test student and pro athletes in a wide range of functionalities and abilities. The larger, enhanced GSSI lab, in particular, utilizes the information acquired through such testing to develop new sports nutrition products (including energy drinks and protein shakes) to help athletes refine their workouts, maximize their performance and improve their recovery.

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GSSI’s scientists use a variety of equipment and methods to test and service athletes, in order to provide them with personalized fueling and hydration recommendations.

Designed—through its architecture and purpose—as a feature building on IMG Academy’s campus, the new performance center has two- and three-story elevation changes, which accommodate the uses within (the weight room, in particular, required a large, two-story volume). The changing elevations also ensure the structure’s massing doesn’t overpower, but rather creates relationships with adjacent buildings. The center’s north façade, which overlooks and anchors the campus’ main plaza, features a storefront commercial-glass

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system, “so people on the plaza can observe the activity inside the building,” explains Stuart Henderson, director of design, Fawley Bryant. Conversely, students using the cardio equipment on the mezzanine can enjoy natural sunlight through the glass façade and see out onto the campus. A large graphic spelling out IMG Academy along the building’s roofline (and in the flight path of the local airport) adds another dimension to the façade.

GSSI’s most prominent feature is the Gatorade fuel bar. The clean, high-tech design allows Gatorade’s branding to be prominently featured.

Metal cladding surrounding the center’s north glass façade, and on other sides of the masonry structure, give the building its sturdy form. A shaded balcony on the third level overlooks the campus, sports field and stadium. Inside the third level are hydrotherapy pools, restrooms and elevators. On the second level are training rooms, classrooms, offices and meeting rooms. The GSSI satellite lab is located adjacent to the atriumlike weight room on the first level, fronted by a Gatorade fuel bar with clear branding. “IMG has unique branding guidelines and aesthetics; so does Gatorade,” explains Steve Padgett, executive vice president, Fawley Bryant. “So we designed the building with a few exterior architectural moves to create an aesthetic, while keeping the interior muted to allow IMG and Gatorade’s artwork, graphics, banners and branding to take precedence.” The most prominent feature of the GSSI is the Gatorade fuel bar, where athletes can have formulas mixed to their particular needs and

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body chemistry. “The design of the fuel bar reads as though the space moved through the glass and further into the building,” says Henderson, “providing a high level of transparency at the front entry despite the center being a secure facility.” “The fuel bar has a spectacular profile; a clean and high-tech aesthetic,” adds Bryan P. Zapf, vice president and principal, ME3 Consulting Engineers, LLC, Sarasota. “So we focused on backlighting the glass and used specific fixtures to keep the focus on the Gatorade brand graphics and the fuel bar’s specialty equipment.” Linear LEDs provide a minimalist profile with the necessary footcandles, Zapf explains. Accent lighting down the center’s long corridors keeps the focus on Gatorade’s logos and color palette. Smoke detectors, fire alarms and emergency lighting were concealed in the walls, again to keep visual focus on the the lighting that illuminates the brand graphics. A thin white strip of flooring extends from the fuel bar into the hallway and is mirrored above, in the ceiling, with LEDs. “These two elements are a wayfinding device to guide guests into the space,” explains Henderson. “At the end of the hallway, the LED transitions to the wall and meets up with the strips in the flooring.” Elsewhere in the center, Zapf collaborated with Fawley Bryant and various contractors to innovate lighting systems to provide uplighting, sidelighting or backlighting using LEDs with narrow channel fixtures. “Small round LEDs, with two-inch apertures, allowed us to hide strips of LEDs in the painted break metal, to maintain the architecture’s clean and minimal aesthetic,” Zapf says.

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IMG has unique branding guidelines and aesthetics; so does Gatorade. So we ... kept the interior muted to allow IMG and Gatorade’s artwork, graphics, banners and branding to take precedence.” – Steve Padgett, Executive VP, Fawley Bryant

During the planning and programming phases on the new center, adds Padgett, the architects worked closely with the contractors to ensure all of the technology used with the testing equipment and computers would be fully incorporated. “In some cases, we had to leave voids in the slab to allow for technology to be accommodated,” he explains. “A big part of what we do for IMG is design flexible spaces. So we laid out a grid in the floor that aligned with equipment racks to ensure flexibility and worked with wireless technologies as much as possible.” For more than two decades, hundreds of amateur, elite and professional athletes have participated in testing with GSSI and in studies with university research partners around the world, as well as with IMG Academy. The new GSSI satellite lab at IMG will allow scientists and researchers to delve even more deeply into the testing of athletes. It will also advance their ability to collect, crunch and study the data they acquire to better understand and improve performance. For Fawley Bryant, the opportunity to expand on an existing concept was a chance to stretch the firm’s capabilities. “The first time we designed the GSSI satellite lab for IMG Academy, it was a fairly new concept for the Gatorade brand,” says Padgett. “So it was a thrill to work on a new expanded concept, and to learn how the research has advanced and where Gatorade hopes to go programmatically in the future. The new performance center, and the GSSI lab, are a true marriage of science and technology.” n – CLF

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Concealite provides solid solutions in preserving commercial, retail, and large scale residential designs while meeting necessary life safety codes. Their products have made notable strides in the industry, and they continue to evolve their products with advances in technology. CONCEALED EMERGENCY LIGHTING AND ALARMS Architects and Designers no longer have to contend with walls and ceilings displaying a patchwork of red boxes or bulky protruding light boxes holding code required life safety devices. Enter Concealite’s FA Conceal-Alarm series of products. They designed a fixture that hides devices behind a flush door that is easily installed in walls or ceilings. Appliances stay concealed until activated. Additionally, the doors are easily customizable to match interiors. Concealite will provide the products in decorative finishes such as paint, metal, paper, or wood laminate to help blend the door into new or existing finishes. UNIQUE-TO-THE-MARKET EXTERIOR LIGHTING Now high power exterior egress lighting is available in Concealite’s latest innovative product, the Hydro-Lite (HL) Series wet location fixture. These concealed high output outdoor lamp units provide up to 200 watt light output which is 3 to 5 times brighter than all other products on the market. Hydro-Lite systems are designed to blend in to the exterior of a building, and are the only non-obtrusive solution to the ever demanding code requirements for exterior egress emergency lighting. NOTABLE INSTALLATIONS Concealite’s high demand products have been installed all over the world and in such notable places as The Boston Museum of Art, The White House Visitor Center, Tiffany’s, Williams Sonoma, BMW Dealerships, Kate Spade, and Jimmy Choo. They also have product installations at the Bill Gates Learning and Foundation Center, Miami International Airport, Universal Studios, Disneyland and in many other historical and well known buildings and institutions across the country.

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Nordic Light Richard H. Lewis Architect and Reveal Design Group transform a smoking lounge in Grand Central Terminal into a bastion of “New Nordic Cuisine�

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Richard H. Lewis Architect, Reveal Design Group Richard H. Lewis, Principal, Richard H. Lewis Architect Ken Ventry, Principal, Reveal Design Group Photos by Evan Sung

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Imagine a wild birch forest under a brilliant Nordic sky. Now imagine Grand Central Terminal, the Beaux-Arts commuter nexus in Midtown Manhattan, which handles nearly one million subway, bus and train passengers a day. Now merge the two—the windswept forest and the frenetic terminal—and you have a sense of the challenges facing the designers of Agern. The restaurant showcases the innovative, foraged-ingredient, “New Nordic Cuisine” of Claus Meyer, the Danish food magnate and co-founder of Noma, and Gunnar Gíslason, the renowned Icelandic chef.

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For more than a decade, the exquisite 19th-century Grand Central Terminal, operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), has been in transition. Once bedraggled and filthy, the building was brought back to its original splendor in the 1990s during a massive renovation. Today, the arcades and passageways surrounding the main concourse are lined with shops and eateries. As leases come up for renewal, tenants who have occupied their spaces for decades are updating, or being replaced with new brands and new foods more in keeping with 21st-century needs and sensibilities. The Lower Concourse is now a food court filled with a Softly curved surfaces of unstained slatted wood are one of Agern’s design signatures and refer to the work of iconic Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. diverse array of prepared foods. A food market off the Main Concourse offers fresh produce, meat, dairy products and specialty ingredients. Within this complex is Vanderbilt Hall. The large public space, a vast marble antechamber, leads from 42nd Street to the Main Concourse, and has perhaps seen the most change. Originally, the hall was a huge waiting room filled with oak benches. But as the building’s fortunes declined, the benches became beds for the homeless and were removed. As the complex began undergoing renewal, the hall became a site for special events, including a successful annual Christmas Market. But buried deep within the walls of Vanderbilt Hall was a blast from the past: a men’s smoking lounge, stripped of its detailing decades ago when it was converted into a beauty parlor. Most recently, the MTA used the lounge for storage. To reanimate these spaces, the MTA issued a request for proposals for the west side of Vanderbilt Hall and the old smoking lounge. Out of an array of options, MTA selected Meyer’s vision: A Nordic market—the Great Northern Food Hall—in Vanderbilt Hall, and a “New Nordic” restaurant—Agern—in the former men’s lounge. In collaboration with Richard H. Lewis Architect, a New York based firm specializing in restaurants, high-end retail stores, and

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commercial and industrial bakeries, Meyer has now beautifully realized both. The challenge for the restaurant’s design team “was translating Meyer’s Nordic vision into a design for Agern,” says Lewis. His firm, in collaboration with Meyer, also teamed with Danish designers Christina Meyer Bengtsson and Ulrik Nordentoft, and lighting designer Ken Ventry of Reveal Design Group in New York. For Agern, Meyer requested “a Nordic, Danish design,” Lewis recalls, which automatically conjures visions of blond wood and sunlit airy spaces. The 2,900-square-foot lounge, although well proportioned, was windowless and had been stripped of most of its Beaux-Arts detail, however. Introducing Nordic light and an aesthetic resonant of the Nordic landscape into the space would be a major challenge. But the design team’s solutions illuminate every aspect of Agern. The Nordic aesthetic begins at Agern’s main entrance. Located below an ornate section of black grillwork found during demolition, the entrance is embedded in a pale wood-slat panel flanked by mushroom-white and moss-green tile in a chevron pattern. The floor is obsidian granite in a herringbone pattern. The colors and forms were inspired by the rugged Scandinavian landscape and usher diners into an open, airy dining room. Softly curved surfaces of unstained slatted wood are one of the new space’s signatures. “Those curved walls are very Alvar Aalto-esque,” Lewis says, referring to the iconic Finnish architect whose work influenced the design. The dining room’s centerpiece is an open display kitchen wrapped in curved slatted wood, with a similar form suspended from the ceiling above—as if one shape had been split in half. Lit with domed copper pendants and recessed fixtures, this prep station is a “center area of activity that’s a focus when diners first walk in,” Lewis explains.

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work involves approaching the project as if we’re “ “Our lighting artwork, in order to see all the nuances of a plating that are just as sophisticated as the cuisine.” – Ken Ventry, Principal, Reveal Design Group

The split form also “creates a left and a right automatically” in the restaurant, Lewis continues. To the left is the bar area. Furnishings include matte-black tables and stools, and cozy white-oak booths with black-patterned upholstery beneath white, modern light fixtures. To the right is a more formal dining area with blond-wood tables, and a wide-plank white oak floor imported from Denmark imbued with the glow of freshly sawn wood. Beneath another section of black grillwork, Lewis embedded a booth into a wall to accommodate larger groups of diners. “So many types of people come into Agern,” Lewis says, “from commuters who need a quick bite to destination diners having a long, quiet meal.” In the booth, sound-attenuating walls of unstained, chevron-patterned wood are lit from below to accentuate the wood grain and reflect its warmth into the space. A crystalline chandelier glows above. The wood chevron pattern, evocative both of Scandinavian marine joinery and Nordic knitting motifs, appears again in the back wall leading upstairs to the mezzanine, where Lewis slid in a coat check, restrooms and some back-of-house functions. Elegant yet understated, Agern’s Nordic-inflected design and materials provide a backdrop for the cuisine, for which Ventry and his team created an exquisite lighting design. “For us, the process began with the menu, the food,” Ventry says, which “tells us what kind of culinary experience might be desired by the patronage, and how we want the food to be seen and displayed.”

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A variety of eating areas in the restaurant–including a bar, booths, tables and chairs, and a white-oak booth–serve the variety of patrons who stop at Agern for lunch, a snack or formal dinner.

“There’s a richness to the way Nordic cuisine is prepared that brings out not only the flavor but also the color,” he continues. “Think of that iconic Nordic food, beets! So plating is important as well. Our work involves approaching the project as if we’re lighting artwork, in order to see all the nuances of a plating that are just as sophisticated as the cuisine.” To this end, Ventry specified a series of integrated LED fixtures, in both the upper and lower ceiling sections, to ensure matching color in the illumination. “Having the right quality of light over the tables is critical,” Ventry says. For instance, pin spotlights create a gentle brightness over a series of banquette tables generating pools of light that “feel like a hearth glow in the middle of the table and allow the food to shine through.”

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The lighting, including the celestial pendants, was selected to merge seamlessly with the restaurant’s materials, patterns, textures and forms.

His team balanced that “sense of intimacy at the tables” with sconces that glaze the walls with light, “so the tile glows and diners feel they’re connected to the larger perimeter of the space,” Ventry says. Meanwhile, celestial glass pendants “create sparkle and visual interest—a star glow of little crystals,” he adds, inspired, in part, by the Northern Lights. “We worked hard to ensure all of the rich materials, patterns and textures in the space would merge seamlessly with the lighting.”

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The black iron grills punctuate the space. Ventry’s team put black foam core behind the grills creating a three-inch pocket, behind which they placed a band of LEDs that light up the underside of the grill, an effect “which becomes more pronounced in the evening,” Ventry says. All the lighting levels are adjusted for day and evening dining, whether highlighting the fascia of the bar surfaces, increasing task lighting when the overall room is dimmed, or “making the tables glow and pop,” he says. Below the restaurant (and the adjacent market), Meyer leased an enormous warren of spaces to serve as production kitchens, offices and other back-of-house functions. Lewis and his team were challenged with finding pathways for ventilation, foraging for space between staircases and elevators. Fire safety systems were concealed for aesthetic reasons. Mechanical connections were made with existing condenser water and steam systems in Vanderbilt Hall. “I’ve done multiple projects at Grand Central Terminal and it’s one of the more difficult places to work in New York City,” Lewis says. “More than 970,000 people walk through every day, so the restrictions the MTA places on you in terms of life safety are extreme.” In addition, the complex is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, “so you’re restricted as to what you can do. Everything has to be unbelievably well-documented. But it all got puzzled out.” In the end, none of this effort shows. The design and the experience of Agern are seamless; an evocation of the clean brightness of Nordic light, the stillness and beauty of Nordic life, the serene Nordic landscape and the Nordic fare located in the teeming heart of Manhattan. n – CLF

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Innovative Design Quarterly Dec 2016  

Innovative Design Quarterly Dec 2016  

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