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AN APPETITE FOR AWARDS

ATOMIX NYC

Atomix NYC

ATOMIX NYC

The most seductive metric for ranking a restaurant is the taste on your tongue. However, a stew of factors contributes to any memorable dining experience; some less obvious than others. For example, background music has now been proven to affect our sense of taste.

Atomix turns the orchestration of such elements into an artform – a kind of alchemy of hospitality. The Michelin-starred New York restaurant serves contemporary takes on traditional Korean cuisine. And Atomix has garnered attention from the likes of Forbes, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

 

Atomix’s success is steeped in a tantalising $205-per-head 10-course tasting menu. Its accolades also owe much to the restaurant’s distinct blend of ceremony, storytelling and stunning interior design; the latter enriched by BoConcept furniture solutions. The interior includes Ottawa, the award-winning lounge-scape sofa system by Karim Rashid; and for the ‘chef’s table’ dining experience, the elegant Adelaide bar stool by Danish designer, Henrik Pedersen.

 

The interior was conceived by Studio Writers: the Seoul-based design firm, which collaborated with BoConcept’s flagship Madison Avenue store. It was a fruitful partnership that has since received the industry’s biggest design nod: the prestigious 2019 James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Award.

 

We spoke with co-owner and manager, Ellia Park to get her thoughts on the design and our award-winning collaboration.

Atomix NYC

Interview

BC: Beautifully designed and educational menu cards, gallery-worthy tableware and a choice to serve only 14 guests in an intimate chef’s table format are just some of the decisions that make the Atomix experience so distinct. Tell us about the experience you are trying to craft.

Ellia: I believe that the most important aspect of a restaurant is, of course, the food. But the complete experience also includes the service and many other factors. We considered each moment: from when a customer steps into the restaurant, to the moment they take a seat, to each moment they are presented with a dish to finally their departure. Just like how a conductor and each musician make up a great performance in an orchestra, a restaurant has done its job well when delicious food, seamless service and a balanced environment are in perfect harmony.

BC: What challenges did your furniture need to address?

Ellia: Dining is both an art form and an experience; it is also a social activity. So, we needed a welcoming lounge space for our special service process: Before dining begins, all guests gather in the lounge, where they can share casual conversation or a drink with others. This little moment is designed to encourage the guests to change their perspective from "me" to "us,” before moving on to the chef’s table format in a communal format. Ultimately, furniture must help guide the guest's behaviour and provide a comfortable experience within their entire journey in Atomix.

BC: Describe the effects of interior design in a restaurant setting.

Ellia: In the restaurant business, interior design is of huge importance. Aside from the food and beverage experience, the interior design is a large part of the guest's experience, both aesthetically and functionally, and plays a big role in their memory of the space. From the way the chair feels throughout the guest's stay, to the background view that the guest looks at, the interior design guides their experience from beginning to end. It's a crucial part of a dining experience, and when done right, can really enhance the restaurant experience.

Atomix NYC

BC: Why did you choose BoConcept?

Ellia: The forms, finishes and durability of the pieces offered an ideal selection for us to provide the integrated dining experience that we envisioned. BoConcept's experts were kind and helpful in navigating their products, so it was easy to find the pieces that we wanted.

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