Agern is a new restaurant in Grand Central Terminal, New York, and its interiors are a nod to Chef Claus Meyer’s Nordic cuisine, New York’s illustrious Art Deco architecture and the Danish concept of ‘hygge.’
Tucked away between Vanderbilt Hall and the 42nd Street southwestern passageway, Agern is located in what used to be a hairdressing salon and formerly the men’s waiting room of Grand Central Terminal. Christina Meyer Bengtsson, founder of Heartwork Design, designed the interior of Agern in collaboration with Ulrik Nordentoft Studio and Richard H. Lewis Architect, and it is inclusive and unpretentious, exuding warmth and calmness in New York’s busy commuter station.
The modern dining room has organic shapes and a natural colour and material palette. Walls, booths and columns are lined with timber, and undulating timber battens ripple around the edges of the room, kitchen and bar. Banquette seats have leather-covered cushions and wool-upholstered backs, creating intimate seating nooks for friends, family and colleagues. A Verner Panton pendant brings the beauty and functionality of Scandinavian design, as do the Arne Jacobsen high chairs, tableware from Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen and lighting from Lightyears and Secto Design.
The art deco forms and decorations of the Chrysler Building inspired the chevron-patterned tiled walls: timber in the booth, and cream and celadon glazed tiles by Danish workshop File Under Pop in the main dining room. Old cast-iron grilles have been preserved and add historic decorative touches.
The designers selected Patricia Urquiola’s Nub chair by Andreu World to complement the unpretentious, warm and calm interior. Nub, like the interior of Agern, pays homage to traditional design, referencing the classic Windsor chair. It has sculpted spindles with undulating thicknesses and alternating ‘nubs’ (hence its name), which provide three-dimensionality, a graphic aesthetic and additional lumbar support.
In the dining room of Agern, the enveloping form of the Nub chair contributes to the sense of ‘hygge’ – a warm atmosphere that creates the feeling of something being cosy, charming and special – and its design concept could also be derived from this notion. As Urquiola describes, the idea came from watching her grandmother make lace with bobbins at a young age.
The Nub collection includes chairs, armchairs, lounge chairs and benches made with solid beech frames made from reforested 100-per cent sustainable wood and available in numerous finishes and steel or wood legs.