, Wed, September 25, 2019
All photos taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft.
When New York Times food critic Pete Wells visited José Andrés’ Mercado Little Spain, he declared that it had “more great food and drinks per square foot than anywhere else in New York.” From Ibérico hams and Peking duck to the seemingly simple yet ever-pleasing pan con tomate, the food at Hudson Yards’ Spanish market has certainly made its mark on the gastronomy scene. But what sets Andrés apart from other chefs and restauranteurs is his entire vision. Mercado Little Spain is designed as a series of “streets,” with the various kiosks leading guests on a curated experience. Most of the design elements and materials were sourced from Spain, and the artists commissioned represent different regions of the country.
To bring his vision to life, Andrés assembled a stellar team, including Michael Doneff, the Chief Marketing Officer at his ThinkFoodGroup; Juli Capella, co-founder of Spanish architecture and design firm Capella Garcia Architecture; and NYC-based design studio (and NYC food hall experts) ICRAVE. Ahead, take a behind-the-scenes tour of Mercado Little Spain and hear from all these amazing and talented collaborators on what it was like working on the project.
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside innovative design firm ICRAVE’s Nomad studio. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
According to the founder of hospitality design firm ICRAVE, Lionel Ohayon, it’s not about the materials used in a project, but the memories created. “I always say, people may hate or like our spaces, but the most important thing is that they remember them,” the Toronto-native told us. Through design, the innovative studio focuses on creating memorable experiences for its clients, a long and varied list that includes the Dallas Cowboys and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The firm’s mission is ingrained in the culture at ICRAVE, a 40-member team consisting of graphic designers, architects, and public relations pros, an office where creativity is fostered through a mixture of collaboration and independence. The open layout of the studio makes this work culture possible, with custom-designed doors and partitions to transform the space into however necessary. On a recent tour of ICRAVE’s studio near Madison Square Park, Ohayon told 6sqft about the firm’s wide range of projects and how his team turns ideas into unforgettable adventures.
See iCRAVE’s studio and meet Lionel
Rendering courtesy of RXR.
Plans for the block-deep Starrett-Lehigh building on Manhattan’s far west flank just below Hudson Yards have been in discussion since the building was purchased by RXR Realty in 2011. RXR recently announced that the former freight terminal, built in 1931 and named a city landmark in 1986, will get new public life as a huge event and expo space, plus retail and a food hall. The 43,000-square-foot project will be designed by ICRAVE, who brought LeDistrict to downtown and are creating another food hall in nearby Hudson Yards.
Find out why the West Side needs another food hall
This townhouse at 806 Greene Avenue may not make much of an impression from the outside–though it sits on a pretty, historic block in the neighborhood’s Stuyvesant Heights district–but a top NYC designer-helmed renovation and a double duplex layout may be what it takes to move this four-story, two-family brownstone at what would be one of the neighborhood’s highest-priced trades to date if it gets its current ask of $2.375 million.
At 18 feet wide (2,709 square feet total), it’s a little on the narrow side, but there’s plenty of space in both units by NYC standards. What makes us sit up and take notice is the sexy renovation by the home’s current owner, Siobhan Barry, a partner at high profile design firm ICRAVE, whose work includes this modern Hamptons pool house and dozens of buzzy commercial projects like the W Hotel VIP lounges, Delta Airlines terminals at LaGuardia and JFK, the JetBlue terminal at JFK and jet-set nightclub Lavo, to name just a few.
Tour the townhouse here…
If you’re spending the holiday weekend out on the Hamptons, chances are you’re in for crowded beaches, bustling restaurants, and high-energy parties. But for those of us looking for something a little more low key, this contemporary pool house and spa by ICRAVE couldn’t be any more perfect (well, except for the fact that we’re not invited over).
The designers were tasked with creating a fresh outdoor space in Amagansett where their clients could entertain, and seeing as ICRAVE is responsible for such hospitality projects as the Borgota casino’s Bask by Exhale Spa and eight STK restaurants, we’re not surprised that the result is so flawless. A mix of natural cedar and industrial steel, the pool house is a modern oasis, highlighted by the central pool.
Get up close here