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Rockwell Group designs Zaytinya Restaurant at The Ritz Carlton, New York

Rockwell Group, the leading New York based architecture and design studio, has unveiled the interiors for Zaytinya, a new restaurant under the direction of two-star Michelin Chef José Andrés. Zaytinya is a celebration of José’s vast knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine, authentic and innovative, the menu pairs perfectly with the airy space.

Rockwell Group’s design for the 140-cover restaurant situated at the Ritz Carlton, New York, incorporates the blissful cyan blue colour of pristine Mediterranean waters. Elsewhere, a light and neutral scheme of warming bronze metals and white oak woods create a strong contrast against these brighter blue additions, pattern detailing and specially commissioned artwork. Architectural finishes have also been primarily kept as the neutral base to offset these elements of texture and pattern found in the upholstered banquettes and at the bar.

Photographer: Jason Varney

Exposed wood ceiling beams interspersed with acoustic linen-textured panels correspond to the floor bands, creating a sense of rhythm throughout the space. Layers of sheer blue ombré curtain provide light privacy and line the vast floor to ceiling street-facing windows. The adjacent wall contains large arched antique bronze mirrors and booth seating, which compliments the warm leather detailing on the Millwork credenzas.

Soft and undulating curves and an assortment of textures playfully transport guests to a modern abstraction of the coast. Alluding to the fluting of columns, walls are treated with tambour details and a custom atmospheric plaster effect. Clusters of woven textile pendants in varying shapes and heights float from the high ceilings, casting a generous warm glow in the main dining room.

In addition, illustrations designed by Rockwell Group’s Graphics studio, have been hand painted on linen shades created by The Alpha Workshops, a not for profit which provides decorative arts education and employment to adults with visible or invisible disabilities. The line drawings celebrate Mediterranean culture, its harvests and ancient art. A further art piece, a custom mural of a meandering Mediterranean landscape, can be found at the restaurant entrance where guests are greeted.

The bar occupies a vast portion of the back wall of the space and has been built with a blue lavastone top and chiselled stone bar die. A custom backlit backbar screen draws the eye and is made of two-toned blue glass discs inspired by the Evil Eye “Mati,” the magical and protective talisman. This eye-catching design curves right up to the high ceiling with impressive sculptural effect. A custom Gio Ponti-inspired tiled floor depicting an abstracted olive and leaf surrounds the bar and provides a visual connectiveness to the Evil Eye patterned backbar screen.

Photography credit: Jase Varney

Location: The Ritz-Carlton, 25 West 28th Street, New York

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