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.

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.

Interior Architect

Philip Johnson

Interior Designer Renovation

William T. Georgis

Architect of Record

Richard H. Lewis Architects



Date Completed



Elisa Forlini

Thomas Mnich

Photo Credit

Scott Frances courtesy of Major Food

Bill Georgis courtesy of Major Food

L'Observatoire International