Client: MGM CityCenter
Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States
Completion date: 2013
Five50 is the latest restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain, executive chef of Sage at ARIA Resort & Casino. His latest venture embraces a more casual concept. The restaurant’s name is a reference to the ideal temperature for baking wood oven pizzas. Our design concept for Five50 is inspired by New York pizzerias, and also reflects its Las Vegas location and the city’s nightlife culture. Both the food and the design emphasize the craft of making pizza, with an honest approach to ingredients and materials. 3,000 SF
The restaurant was envisioned as a New York pizzeria. We sought inspiration in the cityscape and materiality. For example, the back wall of the restaurant features a mural reminiscent of graffiti street art and dilapidated billboards. The goal of the artwork was complex – it was to create an exciting envelope to the restaurant that was to set the atmosphere and give tone to the space without being too distracting and did not want to become a central element of the space.
Working with the client, Chef Shawn McClain, a James Beard award winner, Rockwell Group wanted to bring the essence of McClain’s food philosophy into the design – integrity of materials, bespoke craft and unique vision. These goals led Rockwell Group to commission an artist to create a one of a kind, site specific piece for the restaurant, rather than design it in house. Cyrcle, a three-person art collective, was chosen for their fresh vision of combining low and high art sensibility that translates into both the visuals and art techniques. While the mural is beautifully integrated into the design of the space, it is a unique work of art and a stand-alone piece.
Once Cyrcle was approached and commissioned the mural, Rockwell Group and Shawn McClain’s team were both involved in developing the piece. Both teams were excited by Cyrcle’s past work and made a decision to give the artists the freedom to develop the visuals without dictating or imposing any specific idea. The only criteria set for the artists were the goals of the design and the branding of the restaurant as a fun rock-n-roll late night hot spot set in a warm setting designed by Rockwell Group.
Cyrcle experimented with concepts based on the influence of pop culture in art, film and music to develop an art piece that juxtaposes and collages people of different eras, races, genders and notoriety coming together. This single denomination uniting all of them is that they all engaged in having fun and looking hip and happy, whether it is dancing or dancing. The artist collective sourced all the imagery and let Rockwell Group and the client curate the imagery. Cyrcle, known for a limited color palate mainly working with black and white, suggested using a shellac coating on paper to add warmth tone that complimented Rockwell Group’s interior design.