Checks please! Milton Glaser's Big Kitchen







In 1977 food service mastermind Joe Baum opened The Big Kitchen in the underground concourse of The World Trade Center. Baum was a visionary, and knew how important aesthetics were to the dining experience. So, like he did with Alexander Girard at La Fonda del Sol and Warren Platner at Windows on the World (opened the year before, 107 stories up), he gave Milton Glaser creative reign (or at least graphic design reign) at The Big Kitchen.
There's nothing about this that isn't awesome- the giant letter stations (I had to sit through an hour of a New School panel discussion about Joe Baum to learn they were called stations), the Memphis-y looking "fountain" station, the "Kitchen" typeface, the track lighting, the Market Bar and Dining Rooms type, the Food Market and Raw Bar menu, the aprons, etc... 
This was a really great place brought to life by two major talents. I love that Joe Baum was this fantastic restaurant guy who loved design and Milton Glaser was (is) the preeminent Graphic Designer who loves all things food. The perfect pairing.

Possible inspirations? or random coincidences:
The checked storage containers in Glaser's own kitchen, below, 

and Ettore Sottsass' Superbox.

Photos of The Big Kitchen are scanned from The Interiors Book of Shops & Restaurants, 1981.
Photos of Milton Glaser's kitchen and dining room are from Terence Conran's The Kitchen Book, 1977
Kitchen typeface page courtesy of Zachary at http://containerlist.glaserarchives.org/
Ettore Sottsass from here
A related guest post on YHBHS here

Pin It

No comments: