Syracuse-based Architecture Office has completed a brightly-colored LED-lit restaurant in Minneapolis for the nonprofit All Square, a fancy grilled cheese restaurant–cum–civil rights social enterprise. All Square’s mission is both to end recidivism and help the formerly incarcerated move on with their lives.
For the design of All Square—the name references both the sandwiches themselves and individuals who have completed prison sentences–Architecture Office took an open, airy approach. The 900-square-foot space is without dividing walls and was designed around a square motif.
“Our goal was to give All Square’s mission a physical presence by inserting a few everyday elements, such as metal frames, mirrors, and neon lighting, alongside the existing materials in the space,” said Architecture Office founding partners Jonathan Louie and Nicole McIntosh in a press release. “These things work to partition, frame, and unify the interactions and encounters between people in the restaurant.”
The color palette is a straightforward mix of whites, black, and gray, with a simple material palette that uses metal, wood, and mirrors to make the restaurant seem larger than it really is. The mirrors also, much like this summer’s Young Architects Program installation, frame patrons in unnatural ways and create new, previously impossible vantage points of the space.
All Square’s defining feature, the bright neon-colored lights installed in square frames throughout, shines at night. Once switched on, the restaurant is bathed in pink, blue, and yellow lights that both add a pop of color to the space as well as an identity to each programmatic area.
All Square had its grand opening on September 8 and can be found at 4047 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis.