10. Aquavit Resteraunt

As a part of the Spacesmith design team I help produce the construction documents, renderings were oustourced. 

Spacesmith was engaged by repeat client Aquavit for a renovation of their 12,000 sf Michelin rated restaurant in midtown Manhattan. Aquavit’s owner, Håkan Swahn has worked with Spacesmith managing partner Michel Franck, AIA, for over 20 years on previous incarnations of the restaurant's design. The chosen design palette is earthy and warm with products and materials directly from Scandinavia or sourced from Scandinavian craftsmen here in the US.

Project Roles


Comprised of four zones (the main dining room, bar/ lounge, private event room, and kitchen), the client’s goals were to increase street presence and seating capacity, create a more personal dining experience with varied opportunities, and to replace a stark look with a warmer palette while maintaining brand. Our team was also tasked with modernizing systems and infrastructure.

To enhance the dining experience and increase street visibility, a solid wall between the kitchen and main dining room was replaced with a glass, metal framed wall enabling patrons and passersby to “window watch” the kitchen crew in action. Seating capacity was increased by specifying a greater variety of two- and four-top tables, and a new table arrangement opens diner’s views to the restaurant’s rotating art program and New York’s bustling street life.



Elegant, long, and double-height, the bar is paneled in warm, teak colored wood, and furnished with banquette seating and tables for food service. Lighting fixtures with large, multi-faceted, hand-blown glass pendants gently hang from the curved ceiling, adding an intimate glow to the space. An undulating, wood-slatted dropped ceiling connects the bar and lounge to the main dining room, and new floors of raw, wide-planked oak are installed throughout.

The private dining rooms have been refreshed with new finishes and AV equipment for corporate events. Circular recessed ceiling lights create a serene skylight effect and a wooden feature wall with cream-colored panels add warmth.