Rockwell Group knew from the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing mandates for social distancing that we would have to make adjustments to how people dine out until the global health crisis has abated. We immediately engaged in discussions with restaurant owners, operators and staff, as well as others active in the larger restaurant community, about designing spaces that can help jump-start business, while creating places for diners to feel safe and comfortable.
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Global Future Design Awards 2021
Temporary Structure Built
Founder and President: David Rockwell, FAIA Leadership: Joan MacKeith and Matthew Winter, RA, LEED AP Project Manager: Diane Hang Nguyen Interior Designer: Katie Gillespie Team: Beth Bowles, Stephen Croke, Michael Dereskewicz, Logan Dumont, Liam Innes, Marvin Pelayo Lopez, Michael McCarty, Morgan Moore, Francisco Rocha and James Waterhouse Field Team Volunteers: Rockwell Group Staff
©Emily Andrews and Kamila Harris
Our solution, DineOut NYC, designed pro-bono and in coordination with the NYC Hospitality Alliance, is an adaptable and modular system that accommodates a range of restaurants and bars. We worked with six restaurants selected by the Alliance, in all of the five boroughs, on building pilot locations that collectively accommodate various streetscapes.
Inspired by open-air cafes, and drawing on our modular work and experience designing restaurants, the DineOut NYC prototype addresses flooring, barriers, shading, lighting, and furniture as well as space for sanitation and restaurant equipment.
After launching DineOut NYC at six restaurants across the five boroughs, Rockwell Group expanded our program for safe communal dining in neighborhoods deeply affected by COVID-19.
Recreating the communal nature of a restaurant in a safe setting, the dining partitions allow couples and small groups to it closer together without the risk of exposure.
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