Iris Restaurant

INC Architecture & Design designed Iris Restaurant to be more than a restaurant – Iris reimagines the ways in which sustenance, a healthful life and social interaction can be integrated into our lives.

  • area / size 3,500 sqft
  • Year 2021
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Midtown Manhattan is home to one of the most diverse communities that NYC has to offer. This neighborhood includes classic residential buildings, modern pied-à-terres for the globe-trotting affluent, traditional class A office space and creative agencies alike.

    Iris was conceived as an all day destination for all these populations to come together to dine, drink and connect in a glamorous and yet down-to-earth environment. Iris is located on the ground floor of the MONY Building (or Mutual of New York Building) which opened in 1950 and was designed by Shreve & Lamb, the architects of the Empire State Building. It is a good example of mid-century “Streamline Moderne” architecture (a subset of the Art Deco), which is characterized by strong horizontal lines and sweeping curving forms.

    Taking cues from the tradition of the building’s architecture and the Mediterranean “blue zone” influences of the cuisine, the design of the Iris feels like the sleek and luxuriously interior of a private yacht. Hand carved woodwork in blond weather worn airy tones reminiscent of a ship’s cabin can be found throughout. Purpose built, tailored, highly functional elements are the defining mode.

    High gloss lacquer and polished chrome play to the ship like quality of the spaces. A wood ceiling, a ship’s deck flipped on its head, defines the main dining room. Hospitable, comforting, comfortable and pan-cultural with a touch of mid-century glamour are the defining characteristics of Iris and its interior. Midtown has a new home away from home.

    Design: INC Architecture & Design
    Photography: Joshua McHugh