Andre Kikoski’s Gutsy Guggenheim Restaurant Design Wins James Beard Award

Wright Restaurant

Andre Kikoski, who was brave enough to take on the challenge of designing a restaurant within Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece museum, the Guggenheim, was just named the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant Design.

Kikoski’s design for The Wright garnered raves for its ability to translate Wright’s vocabulary into the small space, enhanced with a brilliantly colored aluminum wall sculpture by artist Liam Gillick. “Our use of color was muted and restrained,” Kikoski told us, “while his is vibrant and audacious. We were both committed to the idea that this had to work like the museum, where the symbiosis of art and architecture exhibits perfect complementarity.”

“As we seek to make architecture that is both innovative and inspired,
we are delighted to receive this great honor from the James Beard
Foundation,” Kikoski says.

Despite the recession’s chilling effect on the restaurant industry, Kikoski had some fierce competition in the category: from Pie Lab, a space created by design-for-good collective Project M in Greensboro, Alabama, to Evan Douglas Studio’s work for Choice Market’s newest Dumbo location in Brooklyn.

Kikoski is well-regarded for his skill in working within the context of existing buildings, as well as transforming transitional neighborhoods. Still, taking on a project within the Guggenheim presented special issues. After weeks of research into the museum’s archives, Kikoski and his team finally ginned up the courage to put pencil to paper. “Once I admitted my own terror,” he says, “we all had a cathartic sigh and got the creative juices flowing.”

Design firm Pandiscio won the award for Best Restaurant Graphics for their work at the Standard Grill in New York.