Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson is the new restaurant at the Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) in Lower Manhattan. The space opens today (1 November 2023) as the final public piece of the 2003 masterplan to redevelop the World Trade Center site, offering all-day dining in a vibrant space helmed by Samuelsson (a chef who features in the Wallpaper* USA 300’s Gastro Greats section).
Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson at Perelman Performing Arts Center
The restaurant has been designed by Rockwell Group, which also oversaw the interior design of the centre’s main entry and lobby level, where the space is located, to create a dynamic and energetic atmosphere that reflects the building’s cultural programme.
As a global hub for creativity, PAC NYC celebrates the artists and audiences of New York City and the connections to be made between music, theatre, dance, opera and film. Designed by Joshua Ramus of REX, the not-for-profit arts centre is dedicated to demonstrating the power of the arts to entertain, inspire and unite. This ethos is reflected in Rockwell Group’s interior design, which brings the entry experience, lobby level, restaurant, lounge bar and outdoor terrace together in spatial harmony.
‘One of the driving ambitions for the lobby and restaurant was that it be used as a community space throughout the day and night,’ says David Rockwell. ‘This was really front and centre as we designed the interior – creating a flexible, communal environment; connecting guests with each other and in some cases performers, whether you’re there for a lobby stage performance in the afternoon or the last dinner party there post-show.’
United under a ceiling clad in undulating sapele wood ribbons, visible from the main entrance, PAC NYC’s public interior spaces invite visitors past a set of monumental exposed trusses towards the bar, lounge and outdoor terrace. A smaller set of ribbons rubbing east to west helps to orient visitors towards the elevators on the other side of the lobby. Embedded with integrated LED lighting and custom-designed grey and burgundy FitzFelt walls for acoustic insulation, the centre’s public spaces have been considered in full detail.
‘We realised early on that the ceiling was one element you would see, before you began your sequence in the building. We thought about the ceiling as this gentle yet strong embrace that draws guests up the stairs and then guides them thoughtfully throughout once inside,’ Rockwell adds. ‘All these areas are connected by the soft choreography of the ceiling, which runs north-south and picks up on the grid of the building. It’s almost like following the path of a stream.’
The same approach was taken for Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson, given the open series of spaces on the same building level, which barely has any hard lines. Inspired by the breadth of neighbourhoods and culinary traditions in New York City, Metropolis is a contemporary American restaurant, spread over a main dining room, private dining room and seasonal outdoor terrace. With Samuelsson at the helm, alongside executive chef Ed Tinoco, chef de cuisine Marcelo Marta Andrade and pastry chef Onika Ayana Brown, diners can expect towering farmer’s market platters of locally sourced fruits and vegetables, Flushing-style oysters that are served with lemon, shiso and XO sauce, as well as an aged Long Island duck entrée, adorned with four-year molé, foie gras and peaches.
‘Arts and culture are the lifeblood of New York City, reflecting who we are as individuals and as a community. We wanted to be a part of writing that chapter today in Lower Manhattan at PAC NYC,’ Samuelsson says. ‘Metropolis is our way of showing through food and drink what it means to be a part of this multilayered city, home to immigrants from around the world. That's what I've always loved about New York, how restaurants are often the first place we feel welcome, invited in, and a part of something special.’
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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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