Fig. 1 – Noah’s lounge and bar in the Meatpacking District with suspended tables and chaises longues.

The Meatpacking District’s rapid gentrification in the early 2000s triggered often heated public debate: Preserve every building no matter the specific historic value, or tear everything down for new development. Noah’s on Washington Street, then a still active meatpacking corridor, took a different approach. An unused refrigerated cutting room is transformed into a bar-lounge utilizing existing meatpacking infrastructure and paraphernalia.

Fig. 2 – Man on horseback rides along Eleventh Ave to clear the railway tracks of people and vehicles, and warn of the oncoming train.

Fig. 3 – Meatpacking hooks and signage on Washington Street.

Fig. 4 – Atlas Meats was located across from what is now The Standard Hotel. It was demolished in 2011. Photo credit Gregoire Alessandrini.

Fig. 5 – The Hellfire Club was a BDSM sex club in the basement of a building at Ninth Ave. Photo credit Gregoire Alessandrini.

Fig. 6 – Carcasses are transferred from refrigerated truck to cutting room.

Fig. 7 – Transfer of carcasses from truck to cutting room on Washington Street.

Fig. 8 – Steel structure in refrigerated locker supports track and switch apparatus and deadload of meat.

Fig. 9 – Track and switch components and meat handling paraphanalia.

Fig. 10 – Section diagram of refrigerated locker with track apparatus and sloping floor.

Fig. 11 – Basement plan with three light engines (top left), first floor plan with sloping floor and slab cuts for optical fiber bundles to pass through (top right), existing track and switch infrastructure with optical fiber bundles above (bottom left), existing steel structure with suspended braided optical fiber ceiling (bottom right)

Optical fiber – the medium facilitating new rapidly proliferating global communication networks – was introduced as a ‘dumb’ material (at the time a spool cost $650 for 9,000 meters). Bundles of fibers were braided across the steel structure that supported the suspended track and switch system, transmitting lighting effects throughout the space.

Fig. 12 – Section at Washington Street entrance with basement light engines (left), Interior view towards Washington Street with optical fiber curtain and braided ceiling (right)

Fig. 16 – First floor plan with sloping floor and red dots marking locations for locking tables into place (top left), First floor plan with tables and chaises longues individually spaced (top right). Reflected ceiling plans with track and switch infrastructure and tables moving into informal groupings (bottom left) and long communal tables (bottom right).

Fig. 17 – Interior elevation with chaises longues and table heights set for sitting, standing and lounging. Optical fiber bundles and track system shown above.

Fig. 18 – Cast resin tables, in two shapes, a ‘boomerang’ and a ‘plug’, are suspended on threaded poles. Table height is adjusted by rotating the form up and down on the threated pole. Tables are locked into position by inserting the tip of the pole into a threaded cavity in the floor slab. A pivoting metal cap covers unused floor cavities for safety and afterhours during cleaning.

Fig. 22 – Noah’s lounge.


New York, USA




2,200 sqf


Bar and lounge

systems and materials:

Repurposed meatpacking infrastructure, steel, optical fiber, cast resin, leather



project team:

Lindy Roy with Jonas Coersmeier, Tracy Geraldez, Michael Maggio, Monica Tiulescu and Heidi Werner

related projects:

Okavango Delta Spa, Hotel QT, Hybird by Questlove, Bar at the Bridge, Issey Miyake, Meatspace, MoMA/P.S.1: Subwave, Alaska Rendezvous Heli-ski Lodge


Henry Urbach Architecture, X-Roy Projects

SFMOMA, ROY Design Series 1

selected press and publications:

Architectural Design (November 2002)

Casamica (September 2003)

bob: International Magazine of Space Design (2005)

Dwell (April 2003)

Vogue (September 2001)


Ref. 1 - Meatpacking track system catalogue.

Ref. 2 - Transportation network bringing meat into New York City.

Ref. 3 - Multinational undersea internet cable network.

Ref. 4 - Fiber optic gauges and applications.

Ref. 5 - Fiber optic cables.

Ref. 6 - Light engine illuminating flowing water.

Ref. 7 - Optical flow diagram.