New York Minutes

By Martin Naylor,

Following the launch of Dune’s first U.S. flagship on Broadway in fall 2015, a second catwalk concept store has opened in Long Island’s Roosevelt Field Mall, with a third to follow suit at Westfield World Trade Centre. We headed out for a visit a few weeks ago.

Standing inside Calatrava’s Westfield World Trade Centre’s Oculus you can’t help but feel immersed in a little piece of history in the making. Standing well below grade in its belly, the fully retractable roof light was being tested; peeled clean open to the blue skies and skyscrapers above there remained an unusual sense of calm and serenity amidst the construction work around you. From inside, outside and above the Oculus is soon to be the most photographed building of 2016.

Following a meeting with Michilli, successful G.C. for The Dune Group’s Dune Flagship at WTC (nice meeting room guys) we thought we’d visit the Valentino Fifth Ave flagship, which Michilli brought to fruition earlier in the year. Nine months on site saw the realisation of the beautiful David Chipperfield design. A grey terrazzo interior lies behind an eight story black steel and aluminium façade. The bag wall illuminated by brass pendant lighting is a stunning entrance feature. Well done to local architects Tricarico — was great working with you on Dune Roosevelt Field Mall.


By Martin Naylor,

We recently converted a former bank in a stunning Grade II listed corner site into a French pâtisserie, The owners of Kanpai identified a gap in the market for an upmarket pâtisserie, appointing Four-by-Two to create a new concept, brand identity, interior design and website.

One of the main challenges of the interior was the main rooms size, and how the busy counter interacted with the calmer seating area. We set about forming a canopy, which creates more intimacy, helps alleviate the challenging acoustics of a large room, and makes a design statement. The design was a marriage of French style and minimal Japanese architecture, referencing the French pastries and Asian teas.


By Martin Naylor,

The year started with a bang when we were commissioned to design Great British Menu’s Scottish chef Mark Greenaway’s eponymous restaurant. Mark got the keys to his new venture at 69 North Castle Street in Edinburgh shortly after New Year, and had his first bookings confirmed for 18th January. It was a great exercise in working fast and to a budget. Mark had assembled a team, including local firm D&D joinery, to fabricate and install the specialist fittings, as well as decorators, electricians and even his own staff to help achieve this tight deadline. The design is in keeping with the building’s original features and serves as the perfect backdrop to Mark’s original cuisine. We used raw, mild steel sheets to create bespoke shelving and bar detailing, laser-cut signage, and various lengths of MDF skirting to create a profiled bar front. Existing brass chandeliers nestle together to form a striking single light feature; pegboards and hangers serve as wall-mounted glass storage: a low-tech / low-cost solution that adds to the sense of bespoke design.


By Martin Naylor,

Great to see Harvey Nichols shoe department trading. And great to be a pair of Alexander McQueen heels to the good. Edinburgh’s luxury retail environment looking just a little more luxurious! The mirrors have worked particularly well as they give the customer the chance of a 360 degree view. And what a pleasure to work with the team at Harvey Nichols, and retail interior wonder contractors like Barth and Garenne, thanks to everyone. Like-for-like trading figures are up and that’s what it’s all about. Great to see a retail interior making a real contribution to ‘omni channel’ shopping. Hoping the London team will be impressed …