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ilili is a Lebanese restaurant with various Mediterranean influences, located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Similar to the basilica typology, the restaurant design is centered around the main dining room: a double height longitudinal space, flanked by the bar & lounge on one side and a pair of vertically stacked dining alcoves on the other - all sitting above the basement level which houses the kitchen and offices. 
The red cedar framework forms a grid-like double membrane around the central space, wrapping the ceiling, floor and walls in a continuous geometry. Interwoven into the cedar posts and beams are panels consisting of glass, mirrors, copper mesh and combinations thereof, contributing to the visual dynamics of the space. The overall structure acts as a lantern diffusing an overall amber-colored glow into the main dining room, visible to the other surrounding rooms through the latticework. 
The sub-division of the space lends itself to the client request of maintaining restaurant operations while hosting private events of various sizes. The smallest of the spaces is a VIP room sitting over the DJ booth and overlooking the bar & lounge.


Location: New York, New York

Project type: Mediterranean restaurant

Size: 10 000 SF

Status: Completed 2007

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