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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

A Recipe for Success

How architect David Rockwell and chef Nobu Matsuhisa built their perfect restaurant


WALKING AROUND the newly opened Nobu restaurant in New York’s the financial district after a busy lunch service, architect David Rockwell surveys his handiwork: On the ground floor, marble Doric columns draw the eye up, 30 feet, to the ceiling of the lounge area. A blackash wood sculpture hangs above the backlit onyx bar. In the main restaurant space below, custom-made fabric hangs over the back of the banquettes like draped kimonos, and an origami- inspired wooden canopy spreads across the ceiling. Rockwell deadpans: “Not bad for a sushi chef and a guy from Mexico.”

This grand space is the latest product of a creative relationship between Rockwell, who was brought up in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the Japanese- born chef Nobu Matsuhisa that has spanned two decades and produced 22 restaurants in spots from Doha, Qatar, and Melbourne, Australia, to Hong Kong and Dallas. “I think secretly Nobu wanted to be an architect, and I’ve always wanted to be a chef. It’s a very deep connection,” says Rockwell of their partnership. Matsuhisa concurs: “We’ve grown together.”

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