FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
UHURU UNVEILS DESIGN FOR MICHELIN-STARRED SAUL RESTAURANT AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM OF ART
Multidisciplinary design firm UHURU unveiled their design of the newly-relocated Saul Restaurant at the Brooklyn Museum this past Friday. The Red Hook-based outfit was personally selected by head chef Saul Bolton for their design aesthetic and unique Brooklyn ethos.
“Brooklyn has been a defining part of our identity from the beginning,” UHURU co-founder Bill Hilgendorf said. “This project was a wonderful culmination of the style we have developed over the past 10 years of living and working here.”
The design for the 87-seat space was inspired by the abstract, geometric Paul Kelpe Williamsburg murals found in the restaurant’s main dining room. The murals, long neglected in a public housing basement, were rediscovered and are now featured prominently in the restaurant. Their story complements UHURU’s own found aesthetic.
Within the space raw materials such as oak, elm, marble, and steel transform into elegant, sophisticated design elements such as steel wine racks, a vaulted ribbed ceiling and hand-blown glass light fixtures – all crafted in Red Hook.
A large communal table in the center of the dining room signals the arrival of a new aesthetic for the design team as the undulating live edge of a locally-milled elm slab merges with the refined geometry of a white Carrara marble top. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow guests to peer into one of the museum’s rotating exhibits in the Great Hall, and an outdoor patio that seats up to 40 allows for al fresco dining in the warmer months. The patio features custom steel art deco screens by UHURU whose form echoes the familiar fences seen in front of brownstones in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“We have often found our design direction through what we come across in the city – for Saul it was the abstract murals in the space,” Hilgendorf added. ”We took the colors and forms of the shapes and worked them into a very clean and modern interior with a warm intimate feel – not an easy task in a grandiose museum setting.”
Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, UHURU has gained a reputation as a leader in avant-garde sustainable design. In recent years the firm has added interiors and branding to their design repertoire, and their work in the restaurant symbolizes the firm’s evolution into a dynamic, multidisciplinary design team whose work inherently captures and expresses the spirit of the Borough they create in.