|Richard Zampella pictured in The Rainbow Room for Gourmet Magazine|
|Richard Zampella Recalls The Rainbow Room|
Joe was fascinated with all the great urban spaces in New York City where people gather together. He viewed them as market places of ideas serving a similar function to the Forum in ancient Rome. It was not surprising that one of his first projects; The Newarker, situated in the vast airport terminal at Liberty International, became his warm up exercise for a fast succession of spectacular restaurants with hospitality projects that soured above the bustling city plazas of the former World Trade Center and Rockefeller Center.
Baum's genius lay in the simple premise that it is the combination of ambiance, food and service that defines a great restaurant. He went far beyond the traditional ways of creating and running restaurants when he integrated the services and skills of fashion designers, acoustical and efficiency experts and consultants, including James Beard and Julia Child, but the part he enjoyed most was working with architects and graphic designers. Among his many colleagues were Philip Johnson. Warren Platner, Eero Saarinen, I. M. Pei, Mies van de Rohe, Alexander Girard, William Pahlmann, Philip George,
Hugh Hardy and Milton Glaser.
From the beginning, Joe knew architecture held the secret to realizing his vivid and revolutionary concepts. It was pivotal to his dreams- He was drawn to architects and designers whose intellect and cultural depths grabbed his ideas and were willing to wrestle with outmoded rules and blinkered thinking.
Richard Zampella will always remember the Rainbow Room fondly where he worked from 1989-2003