Trade Restaurant and Bar

Boston, Massachusetts

Chef Jody Adams commissioned MTA to transform the corner ground floor of the old Russia Wharf into a restaurant and kitchen that reflect her concept of “simple, fresh, and intimate” and combines international influences with local ingredients. The design scheme celebrates the character of this historic landmark with fresh, modern insertions that make use of warm natural materials in a modern language. 

The original steel riveted columns were painted white, and brick ceilings were sealed and whitewashed to allow the original character of the building to show through. Concrete floors are polished and stained in a dark amber color to provide a warm reflective surface over which delicate white “clouds” fold like floating origami, creating moments of intimacy around the bar and dining room, while concealing sound insulation material and mechanical infrastructure. Stained solid oak walls and storage form a thick threshold that separates the main spaces from the back-of-house, providing a warm backdrop that draws the eye and offers moments of reveal and spatial continuity. A custom mirror installation creates a fragmented pattern that dissolves views, reflecting and amplifying the field of clear pendants making light a protagonist in the space. Large custom metal light fixtures made by a local metal fabricator bring drama and intimacy with a saffron yellow color interior and a hammered finish exterior.