The Flora restaurant has opened at the basement of the museum, which is the new temporary home for the contemporary and modern art collection of the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The hospitality project design of the restaurant is intended to honour architect’s Breuer vision, al well as the refurbishment of the rest of the museum. The architects designed the dining venue in collaboration with the operators, restaurateur Thomas Carter and chef Ignacio Mattos, the owners of Café Altro Paradiso and Estela in Manhattan.
“The restoration was approached as Breuer himself would have, carefully preserving the authentic patina of ageing materials and allowing visitors to understand and appreciate the building’s evolution over time. Flora Bar brings the downtown culture of the team’s previous projects to architect Marcel Breuer’s historic Upper East Side building. The new space is lively, approachable and ideal for both a sit-down dinner or a cocktail,” said BBB of the overall project.
The designers maintained the room’s original concrete walls and columns, and incorporated decoration made of blackened steel, bronze, walnut and marble. The ceiling is lined with Breuer’s original disc-shaped luminaries. A concrete stairway leads down to the venue, where visitors first meet the coffee bar and a host stand made of wood and marble. Then passing into the main eating area, a second bar flanks one side of the room and dining tables line the other.
Along the space, there were placed metal shelving racks to accommodate glassware and bottles of wine. Special details include a painting by artist Junglin Lee and weekly floral bouquets by local studio Asphodel. The space also has a special entrance on 75th Street, that allows it to open after the museum hours.
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