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Biber practices 'fast architecture' for James Beard pop-up
Apr 26, 2011

The James Beard Foundation enlisted architect James Biber of Biber Architects to design its first-ever pop-up restaurant, JBF LTD, now through May 14. Formerly a clothing store, the 4,000 sf dining and performing arts space in NYC's Chelsea Market will serve 80 prix fixe dinners each night prepared by an internationally-renowned chef.

Photo courtesy James Biber.
For a budget of $5 psf, Biber designed the temporary space using 80 Aluminum IKEA chairs for $49 each, half in black and half in white, echoing the black and white interior theme. He installed 2,400 ft of bulbs to create a festival atmosphere over the dining area. "It's like dining outdoors, but without the truck exhaust," said Biber. 100 Jars filled with colored water decorate the back bar. The jars are re-usable and the rest is biodegradable.

Photo courtesy The Architect's Newspaper
JBF LTD is open for only 27 days, serving dinners on only 21 of those days. In order to create a sense of urgency, Biber painted four long communal tables with the calendar numbers, and the chefs draw an X in red spray paint every day that passes. The numbers with Xs are also seen on the windows on Ninth Ave., the menus and the waiters' shirts.

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