McDonald’s has opened the first Landini Associates designed flagship restaurant topped with a giant billboard in New York‘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 colourful 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 main kitchen is located in the basement, with orders being transported upstairs via dumb-waiters. This design feature is centred 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 take away orders are adjacent to these and table service has been introduced too.
“The new design is aimed at offering customers a calm respite from the non-stop action of Times Square,” explains Wayne Cheng, Design Director at Landini Associates. “We used a timeless material palette of concrete, stainless steel, oak and glass as a backdrop of ‘recognizable neutrality’ promoting the service, the product, and the people who come to enjoy it.”
“This new Flagship represents a commitment to building a better McDonald’s, showcasing the Experience of the Future for our customers,” adds Max Carmona, Senior Director, McDonald’s. “Digital technology is reshaping customer interactions through models like table service, mobile order and payment, self-order kiosks and delivery focused on making delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. With over 50 million visitors passing through Times Square annually, the restaurant is designed to accommodate one of the largest volumes of customer transactions in the US.”
Landini’s Ray Concept first opened in Hong Kong in December 2015. Iterations have since been rolled out across Australia, Asia, Europe and America, most recently at the McDonald’s Headquarters Global Menu Restaurant in Chicago, the famous Rock n’ Roll Restaurant (Chicago), London’s Oxford Street, San Francisco, Madrid, Buenos Aries, Milan, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai. Sites in Moscow and Sao Paulo are coming soon.