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Dream Team for Nobu Restaurant

Architect David Rockwell and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa have built their perfect restaurant by teaming up and pulling their design ideas together to open a beautiful and unique Nobu reststaurant.

Nobu is a household name, and the Rockwell Group is a 250-strong architecture and design firm known for its global work with W hotels, the Hyatt’s Andaz properties and co-working space Neuehouse in Los Angeles and New York. But with its grand design, Nobu Downtown has the ego that both figures seem to lack.

On the ground floor, marble Doric columns draw the eye up, 30 feet, to the ceiling of the lounge area. A black-ash wood sculpture hangs above the backlit onyx bar. In the main restaurant space below, custom-made fabric hangs over the back of the banquettes like draped kimonos, and an origami-inspired wooden canopy spreads across the ceiling.

The two set about creating something new in the food world. “When the Tribeca restaurant opened, it looked unlike any other restaurant. The food was unlike any other cuisine,” says Rockwell. Nobu’s design mirrored its smart-casual, East-meets-West food. “Luxury dining was all about tablecloths and two and a half hours. Nobu’s luxury dining was about scorched-ash tables, an hour-and-a-half dinner, and you get the other hour back to do what you want. There was a redefinition of luxury.”

The partnership combined an expertise in the beauty of food, and a chef that highlighted presentation throughout this work, and an experienced architect with a keen eye for design. No one knew if it would work, but it is evident to see that the pair are a match made in heaven! The luxury restaurant, is warm, inviting, unique and interesting. Getting advice from someone you least expect to provide a quality insight into their vision for the design of a restaurant can be the most valuable opinion. A dynamic design with sole features that make your restaurant stand out amongst the competition are imperative to differentiation. 

Image Source: Nobu