Cocktail bar, Manhattan, 2016 [ + ]
On a mezzanine overlooking the diverse food hall of Urbanspace Vanderbilt, just north of Grand Central Terminal, this design for a reservation-only cocktail bar channels an essential of most every serious bar: a take on the classics. How do you make a Manhattan? Drawing on familiar checkboard floors of old New York, POPA’s design modulates and folds a checkboard, made of cork tiles, to form the ground of both floors and walls. Meanwhile, a zinc bar morphs into an intimate rail wrapping the entire space, giving it cohesion and communal elan.