Space of the Week: Crystal Healing

When Swarovski teamed up with chefs Kurt Gutenbrunner and Francis Reynard to open Café Kristall at the Soho Swarovski Crystallized concept store (70 Mercer St., nr. Broome St.; 212-274-1500) in 2010, the space looked exactly how you would imagine: as glittery and sparkling as the brand’s famous crystals. But that also made it “a little cold,” says New York”based Swiss architect Christian Wassmann, whose firm was brought in earlier this year to make it “more friendly and cozy”a place you would want to return to.” Wassmann, inspired by the hexagonal shape of his native mountain crystal, designed cherrywood walls with faceted arches to separate the dining areas. Tom Dixon designed the globular Swarovski crystal chandelier that hangs above the bar. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Another view of the dining area, looking toward the bar and, beyond that, into the Swarovski store proper. Here, the faceted arches take the shape of giant gemstones, and soft Carrara marble tabletops add to the sensual experience of dining around a mix of traditional and new materials. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The four wood prints in the bar area are by Albert Oehlen. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This stairwell leads to a private dining room. Note Cascade, the passageway’s dramatic cylindrical chandelier. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The private dining space is luminous. Glitter Boxes designed by Georg Baldele are placed vertically and horizontally throughout the room. Photo: Wendy Goodman

Chef Gutenbrenner takes a rare break in the private dining room. He’s seated before a painting by Hermann Nitsch. “I never had a private dining room before,” says Gutenbrunner, whose belt notches include Wallse, Café Sabarsky, Blaue Gans, and the Upholstery Store. “I admire Nadia Swarovski’s passion for architecture and art.” Photo: Wendy Goodman

The seating area at the front of the restaurant represents “100 years of architecture in one niche,” says Wassmann of this intimate area. This teardrop interpretation of a classic chandelier was designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and the mirror installation by Wassmann himself. Photo: Adrian Wilson

Space of the Week: Crystal Healing