Located on East 60th Street, the Nicole Farhi Boutique and Restaurant, which opened in Fall 1999, occupied three levels of a 1901 Landmark structure. The exterior of the building, previously home to the famous Copacabana nightclub, was restored with honed Indiana limestone and Deer Isle granite to match the original stone tracery.
The women’s boutique floor is suspended between two soaring, double-height atria that reveal the carved lower level. Evoking the historic exterior limestone, the interior street façade in architectural plaster connects the two levels with understated grandeur. A bridge of water-white glass and American Walnut traverses the 26-foot-high atrium from the street entrance to the boutique. The honed New York bluestone flooring of the retail platform creates a floating field that finds a counterpoint in the blue-lit plaster ceiling of the restaurant below. This double-sided blue field hovers within a wrap-around border of American Walnut. Four large elliptical plaster columns penetrate both levels, traced by thin reveals as they vanish through the floor and ceiling. Veiled by walnut and rice paper shoji screens, the women’s fitting rooms provide a translucent, luminous background.
A second stair descends to the home and men’s collections. From this point one may enter the lowered floor of the restaurant by floating wooden steps. Custom reception furniture in solid American walnut was designed in collaboration with George Nakashima Woodworkers. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant is placed between the two double-height atrium spaces. A 30-foot-long luminescent Estremoz bar table punctuates the room. The main focus of the restaurant is the illuminated water-white glass cube floating on a raised bluestone plinth that houses the open kitchen. Custom fixtures designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates—including cantilevered shelves and abacus-inspired tables—display merchandise throughout the space. Soft blue light emanates from the recessed bar area and percolates through openings in the exterior façade.