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Sector Spotlight: Restaurants

(March / April 2012) posted on Wed Apr 11, 2012

Appetizing Destinations: Designs for three high-profile restaurants, including Sky on 57 shown here, mix the artful and practical.

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In applying those principles to Sky on 57, Zinder said he faced two major challenges: Designing a home for the kitchen and other back-of-the-house functions that did not block diners’ views of the Singapore skyline and the Pacific Ocean, and creating a series of intimate dining experiences in a relatively large space. (The restaurant’s interior encompasses about 8,000 sq. ft. of space that seats about 200; it also has a 5,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace that can accommodate about 100.)

To address the first concern, Zinder anchored the kitchen in a U-shaped area that’s nestled against the one restaurant wall that overlooks the rest of the Sands’ rooftop platform. (The other three sides of the restaurant look directly out over the edge of the platform.) In addition to its practical functions, Zinder says he sought to turn the back-of-house space into a “sculptural anchor” for the restaurant by adorning its sides with horizontal wooden fins and windows containing back-lit supergraphics of hydrangea petals.

To divvy the restaurant’s interior dining room into more discrete spaces, Zinder utilized glass partitions, floating ceiling panels and a series of chandeliers. “Those features allowed us to create a number of different ‘feels’ within the space, all without diluting guests’ access to the scenery outside,” he says.

Sky on 57’s back-of-house functions are ensconced within a space whose walls bear horizontal wooden fins and windows containing backlit supergraphics.


Griz Dwight describes designing this modern Italian restaurant as an “architectural exorcism.” That’s because the restaurant’s location had previously housed five different dining concepts over the past decade—and had also sat vacant for two years during that time. “It was a real restaurant graveyard,” says Dwight, founder of GrizForm Design Architects.

To figure out how to turn the space into something that would avoid the grim fate of its predecessors, GrizForm began by stripping the building down to its essential elements. That process was a real eye-opener for Dwight.

“Most of the previous restaurants just built on top of the ruins of the failed ones,” he says. “Wood flooring was pulled up to reveal tiles, and the removal of the tiles exposed carpet! When we demolished an awkwardly shaped service station, we discovered an abandoned set of stairs. And when the contractor took down some sound panels, he discovered some wall coverings underneath. It was like looking back in time, and we knew that it all had to go.”


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