The Grill and the Pool at the Seagram Building

L'Observatoire International was engaged by Aby Rosen of RFR Realty in collaboration with Major Food Group and designer William T. Georgis to develop a lighting scheme for The Grill
and The Pool, formerly The Four Seasons restaurant at The Seagram Building in New York City.

 

This a midcentury landmark designed by renowned architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson was often called “The Tower of Light” due to the groundbreaking work of Richard Kelly,
the pioneering architectural lighting designer. Since opening in 1959, the restaurant has been a shining example of New York modernism.


Upholding and respecting Kelly’s original 1959 lighting scheme for the space, as a foundation for L’Observatoire International’s lighting design strategy. The original concept and mood are
preserved while simultaneously being refreshed with improved lighting technology, including the use of LEDs and a new, modern controls system.


With minimal construction or disruption, L'Observatoire added additional layers of light that provide accents to the space's historic architectural features. More control and precision are
provided for settings between day and evening, allowing for dynamic lighting for events and special occasions, modernizing Kelly’s lighting design intent. New technologies and efficiencies
build on the existing design while creating subtle enhancements and respecting the landmarked building's original character.


Hervé Descottes, Principal of L'Observatoire, enhances the intimacy of the dining experience by creating resonance between darker and brighter areas, highlighting table tops and playing with
layers of light and shadow at The Grill and The Pool, while keeping the original scheme lighting.

 

“These spaces have always been conceived as two sides of the same coin, and so I wanted the contrasting atmospheres to play with each other, and the lighting to enhance the duality of the
interior design elements.”

 

Warmth and tradition prevail in The Grill, where the original bronze sculpture by Richard Lippold above the bar gives off a glint of warm light, almost alive from within, as you move through the
space.


The open, cool, sleek feeling of the interior of The Pool is playfully interrupted by a dynamic tension between fire and water, as candles float in the pool at the room’s center, another
beloved artifact of the original space.

 

The lighting of The Grill and The Pool Room celebrates the dining experience of today while preserving the beauty of the space’s legendary past.


Location New York, NY, USA
Date Completed 2017
Interior Designer William T. Georgis
Architect of Record Richard H. Lewis Architects
Client Major Food Group RFR Realty
Type Hospitality
Status Built
Press Wallpaper, May 2017
The New York Times , Mar 2017
Wallpaper, Aug 2017
Photo Credits L'Observatoire International, Scott Frances courtesy of Major Food, Bill Georgis courtesy of Major Food