written by:
May 24, 2013
Established in 2009, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams has been churning out tenacious restaurant designs in The Big Apple and beyond. Strong believers that architecture and design should be substantial and meaningful, not precious or arbitrary, the duo met while working in Hollywood as production designers and art directors where they designed more than 20 films, creating elaborate and historically inspired sets. Standefer was even handpicked by film director Martin Scorsese to be the visual consultant for several of his films. Take a peep at three of our favorite eatery designs from the multidisciplinary team after the jump.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters design by Ronan and Williams
Stumptown Coffee Roasters has an outpost in the trendy lobby of the Ace Hotel in New York. The duo decked out the walnut bar and enormous light with brass trimming, high-gloss painted wood shelves that are stacked with vintage coffee makers and jars, and flooring got clad in travertine.
1 / 10
Lighting fixture at Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Detail of the tubular lighting.
2 / 10
Stumptown Coffee Roasters outside view
Exterior view of the 522 sq. ft. coffee shop.
3 / 10
The Dutch restaurant in SoHo New York
On the corner of Prince and Sullivan in SoHo lies The Dutch restaurant. A former "leafy corner" that housed the Cub Room for years, Roman and Williams completely renovated the restaurant to have three main dining areas. Inspired by early SoHo, American roadside diners, and Scandinavian modernists like Alvar Aalto, the result is a fresh, cool take on an American classic—a familiar place that is timeless and will age well.
4 / 10
The Dutch restaurant in Soho New York
White brick walls and high glossed ceilings clad the interior. At the bar, open wood-and-metal stacked shelving stores various restaurant wares, such as glasses, matchbox jar, and mini condiment containers.
5 / 10
The Dutch restaurant in Soho New York
"The entire space is an exercise in looking both forward and back, in combining the formal and the informal—from the history of the space, to the eclectic menu, to the mix design references inside."
6 / 10
The Dutch in New York
The Dutch's view from outside.
7 / 10
Facebook Menlo Park headquarters by Roman and Williams
For Facebook's Menlo Park, California headquarters' mess hall, the pair describes their ethos as "a combination of their parents’ ’60s rebellion and their grandparents’ Depression-era rigor and hard work." Both expressing an interest in "anti-design," the designers focused on stripping things down to their essence. As Stephen describes, “With the Facebook guys we shared an interest in all things analog—the reliability of it, the common sense of it, the simplicity of it.” To recreate a camp-like atmosphere, the ceiling was deconstructed, framing exposed, and slick black tables and bar level booths filled the space, along with exposed lightbulbs and exposed rivets.
8 / 10
Facebook headquarters by Roman and Williams
The 24-hour dining and social space for Facebook's 6,000 or so employees.
9 / 10
Facebook headquarters by Roman and Williams
Instead of design, Roman and Williams strove for simplicity and transparency. Rows of exposed light bulbs line the ceiling.
10 / 10
Stumptown Coffee Roasters design by Ronan and Williams
Stumptown Coffee Roasters has an outpost in the trendy lobby of the Ace Hotel in New York. The duo decked out the walnut bar and enormous light with brass trimming, high-gloss painted wood shelves that are stacked with vintage coffee makers and jars, and flooring got clad in travertine.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

practical magic brooklyn renocation kitchen caesarstone countertop stainless steel ikea cabinetes green vola faucet
A creative couple flips the script on their family home, a former workman’s cottage on the northern edge of Brooklyn.
May 02, 2016
history lesson kansas city outdoor backyard facade porch saarinen round table emeco navy chairs
An architect pushes the vernacular architecture of Missouri into the modern realm.
May 02, 2016
mission possible san francisco renovation facade exterior french doors cedar
A dilapidated lot in San Francisco gets a second chance.
May 02, 2016
Eames Demetrios of Kcymaerxthaere
The Eames scion and "geographer-at-large" traverses the globe on behalf of Kcymaerxthaere, a network of markers and monuments that tells fictional tales about real-life communities.
May 02, 2016
marcel breuer architect letter office kansas city snower house
See a glimpse into the office of a master architect.
May 01, 2016
Santa Monica living room with an Yves Klein coffee table
Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron talks us through Dwell's May 2016 issue.
May 01, 2016
house that sottsass built maui hawaii memphis group home renovation ettore facade colored volumes
In Maui, of all places.
May 01, 2016
two of a kind padua italy matching family homes facade green roof doors color
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to dream homes , we visited homes from Haiti to Italy. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
April 30, 2016
houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
gramercy 1 ar53319
A family doesn’t have to travel far for a private oasis away from the busy city.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016