Willmott’s Ghost — Seattle, USA
Home to Amazon’s headquarters, The Spheres were never going to be mediocre. Comprising three distinct glass dome buildings that contain the online retail giant’s workspaces as well as a sprawling urban botanical garden, the structures in Downtown Seattle have drawn intrigue and plaudits for its centrepiece design.
Now — in addition to twice monthly tours — the public has a new way to step inside the otherwise private campus: Willmott’s Ghost, a new restaurant from James Beard Award winning chef Renee Erickson. Focused on a crowd pleasing offering of Roman-style pizza al taglio and Italian aperitivo cocktails, the menu here is no doubt a big attraction but the real star of the show is the space, with architecture by Heliotrope Architects and interior design by Price Erickson. Named for a thistle-like flower dedicated to Victorian horticulturalist Ellen Ann Willmott, the restaurant takes its lead from the world-class collection of plants that thrive within the climate-controlled spaces around it.
Accordingly, glass and steel are put to good use, offering more than a peek of the climbing forests beyond and bathing the dining room in swathes of natural light. Leather banquettes and booths follow the structure’s unconventional curvilinear shape in a way that feels natural and instinctive, while brass and marble accents paired with white oak chairs, pink Moroccan tiles and original artwork by Ellen Lesperance come together for a wholly contemporary narrative. §