The Elm:
Parts and Labor Design

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The Elm Restaurant, on the cellar level of the King & Grove Hotel, is located across from the historic McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Parts and Labor Design, who designed The Elm, were inspired by the beauty and curiosities of the industrial urban park, and also by the woodlands just outside of the city.

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Parts and Labor Design’s aim was to express the design details ‘with a modern, hand-crafted, and sophisticated approach that results in an experience that is fresh and innovative.’ The tone is set with a minimalist and natural architectural palette, incorporating raw concrete and end-grain wood floors, with steel and glass partitions creating a backdrop for the design elements within the restaurant.

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Throughout the interior and exterior, the walls are made from custom concrete paving stones, creating a backdrop for the dining areas, the foyer, and the sculptural axe installation in the courtyard.

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Guests can experience the chef’s tasting menu at the kitchen counter, ‘on book-matched slabs of leather-textured quartzite with nickel tagged drawers integrated along its face.’ An illuminated thirty foot long oak planter with a lush installation of creeping ivy overlooks the entire space.

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Architectural details in the space are informed by childhood memories, such as carving initials into a tree trunk or park bench, re-imagined as ‘crests carved into communal table tops, shallow etchings of wood species into the dining tables, and chess boards carved into the bar top at both ends.’

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An art installation comprised of felling and splitting axes, framed by the restaurant’s double height glazed façade, is striking and radical, whilst custom porcelain dipped steel light fixtures reminiscent of tree branches or antlers, come complete with shotgun cartridge slots, and are tipped with incandescent bulbs.

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Other fixtures, such as the sconces at the bar and chef’s counter, are inspired by cast-iron street lamps but crafted of wood, nickel and hand-blown glass. The large sculptural pendant lights hanging from the double-height ceiling reference vintage warehouse fixtures, but are reinterpreted in walnut and glazed porcelain. Various other sconces are inspired by snow shoes, bee hives and honey jars, as well as flowering plants with porcelain form and finish reminiscent of a bird’s egg.

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Chestnut coloured leather hides are detailed with inspirations from hunting satchels, and evergreen and tweed upholstered stools reference the refined hunting vests whose fashion and utility are of equal importance.

Images © Parts and Labor Design

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