Architect Philip Michael Wolfson Lights up MAD

Tuesday evening, we joined the private reception at Robert, the revamped restaurant on the ninth floor of the Museum of Arts and Design (aka MAD) at 2 Columbus Circle.

As the elevator doors opened, three servers graciously offered a glass of Prosecco, a truffle chicken salad canape from a gleaming silver platter and Nantucket bay scallop ceviche on a perfectly arched silver spoon.

With goodies in hand, we settled onto the iconic upholstered settee, a work of modernist master Vladimir Kagan. I instantly noticed the way the bubbles of my Prosecco played along the mirrored table surface with hints of fuchsia reflecting from architect Johanna Grawunder’s LED-lit acrylic and metal installation above.

A wonderful interplay of light spread from the threads of the upholstery through the multitude of mirrored tables, along the oversized silver doors of the wine cooler, and to the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Columbus circle. We gazed below to the fluster of activity in front of the Time Warner Building and down Broadway to the neon red sign of the Empire Hotel.

Pausing for a moment of respite at the calming mass of Central Park, our gaze finished on a communal table. The 15 foot-long steel table was designed by the evening’s host, architect Philip Michael Wolfson. Wolfson further explained, “In this new work, I continue to explore the use of line and rhythm as dynamic forces, seeking that place where the sculptural, the utilitarian, and the ergonomic intersect.”

The playful intersection of light and refection from the cocktail tables were also Wolfson’s idea. The lounge tables are mirror polished aluminum and glass, an extension of the LINE and SoundForm series which Wolfson’s studio is currently developing. All in all, Wolfson’s unique furniture and Grawunder’s distinctive sculptural lighting installation enhance the dining experience at Robert and we foresee it to be the location of many near future soirees.