Ark Restaurant Group commissioned Jeffrey Beers International (JBI) to renovate Sequoia Restaurant in Washing D.C; a large, iconic restaurant on the banks of the Potomac River. JBI modernised the interior and designed a new “destination” bar on the dining level that creates a visual presence through the window to the plaza outside. Jeffrey Beers envisioned the ‘new’ Sequoia as an avant-garde space to showcase the client’s contemporary art, while always remaining mindful that this gallery-like space is and must still function as a restaurant.
Collaborating with graphic designer Patricia Spencer (PSDNYC), JBI has highlighted the new Sequoia logo on a new wall that partially encloses the stairs leading up to the main dining level. This was an important design directive to enhance the visual presence of Sequoia through the existing storefront at the plaza’s street level. Sequoia is also home to Brooklyn artist Isidro Blasco’s three-dimensional wall-mounted collage, which announces the restaurant’s distinctive, art-filled ambience in the foyer.
The Elevator Cab has also been redesigned to feature a rear wall with a digital image of Arne Quine artwork; a ‘teaser ‘that enables guests to see one of his works up close and whet the appetite for the massive sculpture installed on the terrace.
Main Dining Room
In the main dining room, JBI designed a custom host station in grey Caesarstone with back painted white glass and inlaid brass details. They also designed a new, 50-foot-long, gently curved bar on the main dining level which softly echoes the curve of terraces and outdoor plaza. A dark grey Caesarstone top with white terrazzo face, the bar blends into the bar area floor and incorporates inlaid brass accents.
Located along the long window wall, glass and brass bar back shelving will glow and act as a beacon, calling additional attention to the restaurant.
A vibrant gem stone colour palette of upholstered dining chairs contrasts with white walls. New sheer drapery along the west/southwest wall is carefully illuminated with architectural lighting helping to soften the space.
Japanese light artist Hitoshi Kuriyama designed an expansive installation that commands the two-storey dining room without obstructing views from this level of the mezzanine. The light sculpture is the first US and largest ever project for the artist, which comprises 913 custom-fabricated glass and 200 neon tubes suspended in a ‘path and branches’ across the dining room ceiling. The spectacular sculpture spans more than 125 feet across the main dining space.
The Banquet Room features new custom designed Makore-wood doors with book matched, figured wood grain accents to establish a dramatic entry to the event space. The space also includes a hand-applied graphite finish on the entire entry wall and new drapery, sheers and blackout shades support audio/visual presentations.
Custom designed Shaw carpets feature patterns loosely inspired by the work of New York artist Jacob Hashimoto with circles and oval geometries repeated in cool greys and blues.
In the Banquet Room a bar has been removed to expand the usable footprint of the space, creating more flexible space for private events.
The Mezzanine bar has been transformed into a lounge and dining area with flexibility for private dining. The new lounge area features arm chairs in neutral grey fabric, accompanied by metal and glass cocktail tables. An existing nautical-inspired railing has been replaced with a sleek frameless glass railing that features gradient frosting which transitions from white to clear, resembling a “low floating mist.”
Finally, JBI master planned the renovation of the large stepped terraces cascading down to Washington Harbour, replacing all flooring, pavers and hand rails and repositioning the stairs. They also designed a new expansive bar with good grain porcelain tile back and face and deep green fabric awning. New dark powder coated metal planter boxes line the terrace level changes; all new architectural railing design features hand rails with integrated lighting that illuminate the planter boxes.
Also on the terrace, Belgian artist Arne Quinze has created a 40-foot-tall metal tree sculpture called ‘Natural Chaos.’