Redesigning Washington DC's Iconic Restaurant, Sequoia
The new gallery-like space features Hitoshi Kuriyama light art and pieces by Sol Lewitt
Every so often, one might glance at a light fixture and understand that it's far more than just an appliance. It's impossible not to feel this way about Hitoshi Kuriyama's wall-to-wall light sculpture at the newly redesigned Sequoia. Ark Restaurant founder Michael Weinstein tapped Jeffrey Beers International for the dramatic reimagining—and Weinstein's personal art collection was the inspiration. Weinstein and Beers sought to turn the restaurant into a gallery-like space, showcasing unique pieces throughout the landmark 860-seat restaurant. Stretched along the Potomac River, Sequoia glows with a powerful, art-driven aesthetic. And all the while, staff and clientele work their way through the functional space.
"The art was first chosen by Weinstein, and our goal was to reconfigure the floor plan and design, as well as choose tones and materials that would highlight and connect the various pieces," Beers explains to us. "The challenge was, of course, to ensure the atmosphere remained warm and inviting against the minimalist backdrop and striking conceptual art. My team—led by Project Leader Hee Seung Lee—chose attractive jewel-toned fabrics and warm brass finishes to add a feeling of hospitality, of being welcomed."
He continues, "Weinstein personally introduced us to the work of Hitoshi Kuriyama, and I was immediately drawn to the irregular shapes of his expansive fluorescent light sculptures." The striking piece happens to be Kuriyama's first US commission, and his largest project ever. "We collaborated very closely with Hitoshi in his bespoke creation for the restaurant and, to our amazement, he even created a miniature-sized model to ensure everything was just right before production and installment." Kuriyama's work might be the show-stopped but the environment Beers carefully matured supports everything from Sol LeWitt drawings to a statue from Belgium's Arne Quinze. It's beautiful to observe, and even better to dine within.
Take a virtual tour of Sequoia online, or visit the restaurant located at 3000 K St NW, Washington DC.
Images by Eric Laignel, courtesy of Jeffrey Beers International