Fish & Game
Friday 14 Mar 2014
As an advocate of re-adaptive architecture, Michael Davis has spent much of his career pioneering the adaptive reuse of architectural details, salvage, and industrial design into distinctive homes and commercial environments. His latest project - the Hudson, New York restaurant Fish & Game - brings his unique flare for restorative architecture to the wider public.
A former 19th century blacksmith shop (comprised of a cottage and carriage house) was re-designed using period-sensitive techniques to retain many of the building's historical details within the architecture. Just as head chef Zak Pelaccio fuses the ingredients for his world-class cuisine, Davis also used a similar, organic approach, pulling together design elements to create a space which is now a popular place to dine amongst New Yorkers. Davis' idea was to give the fully gutted, structurally reinforced and restored building an almost residential feel and to turn it into a space that evoked country elegance. His intention was for the space to look and feel as good as the food tasted.
Some of Fish & Game's notable design features include tables crafted from black walnut, reclaimed tin ceiling panels and custom unadorned fireplaces constructed from foundation stone and brick salvaged on-site. Even the cement used for these fireplaces originated on the New York City pavements. Davis also used exposed steel with fire retardant paint and bricks salvaged from the building's demolished walls. For aesthetic effect, antique tribal carpets and pre-war voided-velvet wallpaper adorn the floors and walls. Where furniture was concerned, custom-made leather Chesterfield sofas, Italian dining chairs and antiques from the surrounding Hudson River Valley were sourced.
To create the desired homely ambience, the lighting fixtures comprised salvaged and contemporary American and Italian pieces, an 18th century brass candle chandelier and authentic copper and glass lanterns for the exterior.
In many ways this project was born from the concept of "cooking a restaurant through architecture" whereby Davis' challenge was not only to work within the realms of re-adaptive architecture, but also to illustrate in his designs an interpretation of the methods and flavours of Pelaccio's food.