ManuelaPhotography by Joshua Targownik • December 12, 2016
Patrons of the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery’s new Los Angeles outpost in the Downtown Arts District’s storied Globe Mills complex, pause between exhibitions and a whirl through the Artbook shop to dine at the equally inspired Manuela.
Working in tandem with architect Evan Raabe of LA- and San Francisco-based Creative Space, Matt Winter, founder of LA studio M. Winter Design, dreamed up an aesthetic for the restaurant—an ode to co-founder Manuela Wirth—that fuses the gallery’s cosmopolitan roots in Switzerland with the edginess of the adjacent neighborhood.
Winter, influenced by “the original foundations of the mill,” prominently featured salvaged materials from the site’s extensive revamp. Roof light safety glass transformed into window frames and timber-hewn tables fashioned from 80-year-old fire doors meld with modern brass-inlaid bartops and cobblestone floors. Such an organic design approach helped ensure that Manuela “seemed like it belonged, that it grew out of the building and time period it was found,” Winter explains.
Manuela is deemed the “living room” of the complex, which surrounds a courtyard. Winter maximized this prime position by embracing an all-glass façade and “allowing for a free flow between the interior, patio, and gallery,” he explains. “It doesn’t have a street front; you have to explore the gallery to discover the restaurant.”
Illuminating Manuela’s artistic soul is the collection of works on display, including a duo of dramatic, sculptural chandeliers crafted from fluorescent tubes and mirrored panels by Paul McCarthy—a recreation of architect Edward Lutyen’s lamps. Mark Bradford’s abstracted LA map animates the restaurant, as does Raymond Pettibon’s mural depicting a fictional Swiss mountain tableau in the private dining room. “I love how these sum up the two poles of the design brief,” says Winter, “bringing Europe and LA together.”