Landini Associates has designed the recently opened McDonald's flagship store in New York City's iconic Times Square. The new store replaces the original restaurant that opened in 1984, located on the corner of 45th and Broadway.
Built over three floors, the restaurant is an evolution of Landini's global format for McDonald's, Project Ray, named after the brand's founder Ray Kroc. The colorful graphic environments that became the signature for McDonald's internationally are replaced with a quieter approach; the walls of the store decorated only with occasional abstractions of the golden arches, framing the view outside.
The flagship adopts a composed yet bold approach to design, creating a calm environment of respite in contrast to the energy of the square outside. A three-story glass curtain wall provides customers with spectacular dining room views out to the beating heart of NYC, and a yellow staircase injects a pop of vibrancy whilst threading its way skywards.
"The new design is aimed at offering customers a calm respite from the non-stop action of Times Square," said Wayne Cheng, Design Director at Landini Associates. "We used a timeless material palette of concrete, stainless steel, oak and glass as a backdrop of 'recognisable neutrality' promoting the service, the product, and the people who come to enjoy it."
The main kitchen is located in the basement, with orders being transported upstairs via dumb-waiters. This design feature is centered around creating a place of total calm and respite, removing the theatre of food production thus giving the space entirely back to the customer.
Natural light is supplemented with a computerized lighting system conceived to dramatically alter the mood by day and by night. This calmer, more intimate solution delivers a relaxed night time experience for the diners and a sharper quicker one for the day.
Various seating types and areas have been designed to accommodate families, groups, and individuals, and table service has been introduced to improve the experience. Zinc, concrete and oak tables and benches help define these zones, challenging customer's historical perceptions. On entering customers will be able to customize and pay for their orders at the latest interactive kiosk stations. Traditional service and pick up points for takeaway orders are adjacent to these and table service has been introduced too.
Photography: Andrew Meredith