Designed by Masamichi Katayama of Japanese interior design firm Wonderwall, a new Intersect by Lexus lifestyle hub has opened in the Meatpacking District in New York City, joining its Dubai and Tokyo locations.
Featuring both a private and public gallery, the hub will transform for a multitude of what manager Kirk Edmondson calls ‘culturally relevant programming concepts’, ergo full immersion events, art installations, film screenings, panels, and performances. Design-wise, things can be adapted to serve these different functions, including a 1,200 sq ft ‘white space’ to bring to life brand elements of design, entertainment and technology. Adding continuity, each space is unified by its pseudo-auto themed ornamentation; think industrial, garage style flooring, steel wheels for stools, and an oscillating spare parts mural.
Just around the corner from The Whitney, and among a crowd of design-favoured bars, Intersect by Lexus is in good, but competitive, company. ‘Meatpacking is one of the most diverse and vibrant areas in Manhattan,’ explains Edmondson on the decision to open in this particular spot. ‘It is a destination for shopping, restaurants and nightlife where locals, businesses and tourists want to spend their time. As a lifestyle space, Intersect both fits within, and can add, to this great neighbourhood.’
A highlight of the space is the fine dining restaurant, with food devised by big name French chef Gregory Marchand, who will be on hand from time to time for the next four to six months; after that, another chef-in-residence will be imported. The long-term executive chef is Nickolas Martinez, who worked with Joël Robuchon and at Foragers City Table.
The hub’s opening comes at a key time in the Japanese car giant’s development. Intersect by Lexus was conceived in 2012 as the brand was transforming into a more design-forward company. The fresh emphasis on dining in the NYC spot ushers in a new era of heightened hospitality – ‘what we call omotenashi’, Edmondson explains (a difficult to translate concept that calls for an anticipation of a guest’s needs, before the guest has even realised it). As such, expect a smooth journey from café to gallery to cocktail. §