Kikoski ’90 Honored for Guggenheim’s Restaurant Design

Andre Kikoski ’90 (Photo by Peter Aaron)

Architect Andre Kikoski ’90 received the Institute Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects (the “AIA”), their highest recognition nationally for his creation of The Wright, the new restaurant in the Guggenheim Museum.

Kikoski’s work was selected from more than 700 total submissions and was one of only 27 recipients worldwide who will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C., in May.

The Institute highlights the award winners on their web site, including photographs and a discussion of the design elements that the architects considered and reasoning for their solutions, as well as comments from the jury.

Said Kikoski: “It was both an incredible honor and an exhilarating challenge to create The Wright, the new restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum, which is the first addition to the building’s iconic interior. We sought to create a contemporary response to complement the building with an extremely modest budget and 1,600 square feet in which to work.

“Our design solution references the building’s architecture, what Wright specifically called ‘the primitive initial,’ without repeating it. In the process, we transform underlying architectural geometries into dynamic spatial effects. The sculptural forms create a flared ceiling. The undulating walls become comfortable seating. The arced bar and communal table animate the space. The playfulness of these forms offers a dynamic experience for visitors.

Additionally, the jury called Kikoski’s project “sensitively handled and respectful of the essence of the original architecture.” Another jurist noted, “With the confined space and ostensibly modest budget, given those challenging constraints, this project is exceptional. Of special note is the programmatic flexibility,” and a third observe, “The design approach was controlled but playful, and complements the nuance of the museum overall movement and dynamic.”

Kikoski, an English major at Wesleyan, earned his master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University. His firm, Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC, is located in New York City.