New York – Koreatown’s newest O:N restaurant evokes a sophisticated, modern underground bunker by interior design studio Two Point Zero.

Project Name: On
Studio Name: Two Point Zero
New York, United States
Photography: Junho Choi
Project size: 1500 ft2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 1

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Dining Area ©Junho Choi

The studio worked collaboratively with Hand Hospitality, the owner and chef of the restaurant, in a reductionist approach towards the interior architecture that houses a rich culinary experience rooted in the Korean tradition of sharing at the table. The experience simultaneously bears an honesty as the preparation process is revealed – the guest is engaged from beginning to end as each ingredient is brought to their table and introduced to the bowl of broth and the rice is cooked before their eyes.

As the guest is invited to experience the menu in this deconstructivist kind of way, designer Junho Choi wanted to speak to this in parallel by “stripping the interiors down to its basic elements to expose the existing materials encompassing the space such as the wood ceilings, cinder blocks and concrete walls and floor.”

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Dining Area ©Junho Choi

The space is intentionally under designed, but considers each detail without superimposing on what was already there. A fluid dialogue thus emerges between old and new. Composite stone, glass partitions and sleek tubular lighting by Juniper are contemporary accents that animate the space.

Tables with square inlaid induction burners accommodate the hotpot, essential to the cultural dining experience. The design studio selected fixtures from Vitsoe by Dieter Rams for the bar and service station which offer both a minimal intervention and important functionality so as not to take over the space.

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Pantry ©Junho Choi

A feature tiled wall quietly juxtaposes the existing concrete where each tile was broken off one by one and installed to create an organic pattern with texture. The intention was to use a popular material that is reinterpreted to embed a sense of time and wear.

The result is a cool and modern palette with grey concrete, nickel and glass balanced with warm white oak wood tones welcoming guests to gather, share and participate in a cultural culinary tradition expressed by a rawness and authenticity in both food and space.


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