Lever House

New-York - USA, 2003
In association with Marc Newson
Sebastien Segers -  Lever House

Owner: RFR Realty
Location: Lever House, 390 Park Ave New York NY - USA
Programme: Fit out of a bar and restaurant on the ground floor of the Lever House Tower
Scope: Design and construction management assistance
Designer: Marc Newson Ltd.
Associated Architect: Sébastien Segers
On site Architect: Can Resources
Area : 450 sqm (5.000 sq.ft)
Completion: 2003

Photo Credit: Robert D’Adonna

It is in the Lever House Tower, built in 1953 by Gordon Bunshaft of SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merill) that the first architectural Project of Sébastien Segers with Marc Newson is located. It is typical of the International style and is filed with the New York Preservation Commission. In 2001, the Owner asks them to design a restaurant according to the spirit of the 50’. The location: a room with no windows, on the Ground floor of the building.

The two partners agree to design the Project according to a typical New York idea: how to “see and not be seen”. Sébastien Segers imagines that the premises are a solid element in which one shall dig out the bar, five cubicles and a private lounge. The organisation of the premises is the result of a neat hierarchy between the public areas, the technical premises and the ancillary premises. In order to have the largest possible volume, a thorough coordination with the team of the fluid Engineers allows to hide carefully the technical equipment between the existing walls and the new sloping partitions. The ceiling, 4,20 metres high, includes 150 hexagonal suspended concrete elements that hide the lighting, the loud speakers, the ventilation gratings, the cameras and the fire extinguishing system.

The audacious mix of materials creates a timeless atmosphere; The traditional Japanese kyokabe coating used in the tea houses (a mix of plaster and straw) covers the walls of the main room. The entrance tunnel, inspired by the Stanley Kubrick film: 2001, A space Odyssey, the bar and the cubicles are made of a Corian® type thermo-moulded resin. All the finishings and the equipment are designed and custom made for the Project: the bar, the ceiling, the wood and leather furniture manufactured in Italy, the honeycomb network carpet, the mirror with a variable sanding featuring the hexagonal motive favoured by Newson.