After the confusion and pain of 2020, this project was an opportunity to create a space of optimism that blends futuristic elements with familiarity. The concept, developed by restaurateur Eddie Song, is a dining hall open to all of the restaurants of Korea Town, many of whom are on 2nd or higher floors and do not have the ability to utilize the street shed typology seen across NYC. Instead, customers can meet at Maiden Korea and order from whichever place they like, while enjoying drinks purchased onsite via a digital ordering system.
The architecture was designed with the spirit of Seoul’s Pojangmacha, built with whatever materials were easy to find. We used simple elements that could ship quickly amid the supply chain instability of 2021 and forms, patterns, and colors were chosen to evoke cheerfulness and comfort, like the pitched roof silhouette of our street sheds that match what a kid might draw.
Fiberglass grates and careful detailing maintain flow of light and air, still mindful of the fact that the pandemic is not over. Occupying the corner of 5th and Broadway, we wanted the site to act as a gateway to Koreatown, which is why the street sheds take on a taller presence and feature strong graphic patterns on their roofs.
On the adjacent lot, a line of UFO-like gazebos are tucked between vegetation, balancing the familiar and the futuristic.