About the project
Helmed by owner Billy Van Dolsen, Sereneco is a warm and relaxed neighborhood restaurant located on the ground floor of Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s historic Pencil Factory building. Their design agenda was to create a space that makes people feel great, but ultimately talk about the food more than the design.
Carpenter & Mason designed this space shortly after the quarantine lockdown ended and the importance of our relationship with the outside world was playing heavily in our minds. They started looking into local architecture that prioritizes the relationship between architecture and the natural environment and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian community immediately came to mind. These are residential projects built in the mid-century so some concepts just don’t transfer easily to a commercial restaurant’s requirements, but they used their research to establish our design priorities: a fluid relationship between exterior and interior, use of natural materials and importance of light + texture.
For this particular project, they wanted to keep the material palette soft and natural with wood, plasters, terra cotta, stone and the existing brick. Another key material is the greenery throughout; they worked with Greenery NYC to fill the space and the plants are thriving with all of the natural light.
They thought of the bar as the center of the restaurant and treated it as a “hearth” by completely opening the facade behind and creating a tall central volume with large wood-clad planters wrapping both. They specifically placed the kitchen under one of the two existing skylights in the space with the idea that natural light isn’t just for the guests and that the well being of the kitchen staff should be considered as much of a priority as the well being of the guests