Caitlin St John • Photography by Matt Harrington •
August 19, 2020
After operating for more than four years in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, the Spring Place restaurant—located within the hip members-only workplace and social club of the same name—underwent a thoughtful transformation courtesy of architect and designer Nathan Litera. “The initial aesthetics of the large restaurant and bar were industrial—concrete columns, no ceilings with apparent sound system and piping, concrete, and metal bar—and we were entrusted with bringing more glamour,” says the Paris-based Litera. Secondly, he set out to create a multifaceted venue that would transition seamlessly for both day and night.
These objectives resulted in a chic medley of disciplines—references to artistic talents, the midcentury modern design movement, as well as a number of cultural influences come together within the space. For instance, the graphic plaster ceiling is a tribute to American artists Jasper Johns and Donald Judd.
Nearly all of the furnishings and light fixtures were custom designed by Litera and manufactured in France, while a few pieces by late Italian designers Willy Rizzo and Gino Sarfatti were incorporated to “amplify the vintage feel,” he says. The restaurant’s material and color palette of patinated brass and bronze, Portor and Brescia marble, and nude and terracotta velvets were “conceived to diffuse a warm sensation for the members to feel the space as a second home.”
Furthermore, the space is punctuated by an abundance of tropical greenery planted in minimal stainless steel pots set along the floor and even suspended from the ceiling above the bar in a vegetal glass box. “Having been brought up in the West Indies, I have always been very sensitive to plants and, more generally, nature. I try to enhance my projects with a coherent plant selection—whatever the context,” explains Litera. “Greenery always infuses more soul into a space.”
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