Posts tagged with "Restaurants":

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Frank Gehry–designed restaurant opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The first element of Frank Gehry’s master plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art is now open to the public. The new restaurant, Stir, is the only fine dining establishment on the East Coast designed by the architect and, surprisingly, the only space in the museum where his signature style will be apparent. Stir's cozy dining room seats just 76 people beneath a large sculpture of crisscrossing Douglas fir beams hanging from a ceiling of curving wood panels. Affectionally dubbed “the nest” and “chips” by the architect and museum staff, the sculptural ceiling is complemented by custom leather banquettes and granite tables designed by Gehry Partners. The warm, intimate space is enclosed by frosted glass walls and an open-air kitchen.  Guests can watch chefs prepare locally sourced seasonal dishes inspired by the museum’s new dining room, like roasted Griggstown chicken over a nest of braised green beans. “Every restaurant is about time and place,” said chef Mark Tropea, who created a menu that ensures the sense of place extends to the plates. Gehry also designed the adjacent cafe, a well-lit casual cafeteria space that can seat up to 160 guests. Organized around a central serving station, the cafe serves up views of the city along with surprisingly impressive made-to-order dishes. And yes, there are cheesesteaks—artisanal cheesesteaks. Stir is the first milestone on the long road to the renovation and expansion of the 1928 building, originally designed by a collaboration of architects including Paul Cret, the firm of Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary, and the firm of Horace Trumbauer, particularly Howell Lewis Shay and Julian Abele. The first phase of the renovation, The Core Project, will be completed in 2020. The stylistically subtle intervention will dramatically improve circulation and infrastructure with 90,000 square feet of new public space, including expanded galleries and tile-vaulted walkways. Although visitors will have to wait a little longer to enjoy the refreshed galleries, Stir is open now with refreshments and a glimpse of the museum's future.
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Four new spaces turn Tribeca into New York’s newest design destination

As the home of AN Interior's parent publication, The Architect's Newspaper, for 12 years, Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood has steadily developed a spicy, post-work hangout scene. The latest places to pop up in our community include four chic, inviting spaces that offer commuters and locals alike the chance to savor the sweet taste of good design (at a good price) any time of day. These stunning and simple venues—a timeless tea parlor, a cozy cocktail lounge, a sunny seafood spot, and a sky-high, Danny Meyer dining experience—all opened this year to rave reviews for their food, drinks, and decor. Next time you’re in Tribeca, you won’t want to forgo seeing these inspired interiors for yourself. Primo’s Designer: Camilla Deterre 129 Chambers Street Primo’s exudes a surprising and sexy contemporary twist on Italian Art Deco. Designed by model Camilla Deterre, the striking bar packs speakeasy sentimentality and midcentury modern elements into a small, two-room space hidden inside the Frederick Hotel. Long drapes with rich primary colors and cotton velvet upholstery covering curvaceous banquets give Primo’s an aura of luxury, but the soon-to-be late-night Tribeca mainstay is more informal than it appears. The chrome-outlined bar boasts an impressive organic wine collection and serves an array of dreamy classic cocktails and avant-garde absinthe coolers that will knock your socks off. Manhatta Architect: Woods Bagot 28 Liberty Street, 60th Floor As culinary impresario Danny Meyer’s most recent endeavor, Manhatta serves as a home in the sky for delicious food and jaw-dropping views. With less glitz than you’d expect from a restaurant of this stature—it nearly covers the entire top floor of Manhattan’s first International Style building—its elegant yet friendly atmosphere overwhelms any sense of high society. Woods Bagot’s design for the French-American eatery and bar brings dark wood, weathered granite, brass fixtures, and jewel-toned Chinese paintings together to subtly create an intimate setting with an unparalleled perspective of New York. A Summer Day Cafe Architect: Savvy Studio 109 West Broadway This relaxing restaurant and raw bar transports urbanites to Italy’s Amalfi Coast with an enticing seafood selection and a maritime mood. Dreamed up by architecture and branding studio Savvy, the 1,290-square-foot space oozes summer simplicity. It’s one of Tribeca restaurateur Matt Abramcyk’s latest ventures and an experiment in stylishly crafting the sensation of leisure and calm. The concept is a nod to photographer Joel Meyerowitz’s 1985 book A Summer’s Day, with a material palette inspired by boats, seaside cottages, and industrial fish markets.
Interlude Architect: Kimoy Studios 145 Hudson Street Founded by Juilliard-trained classical pianist Josh Kim, Interlude is an Asian tea and coffee cafe that serves its signature matcha tonic and homemade baked goods in a light-filled, minimalist space, designed by KIMOY Studios. Kim combined his passions for gastronomy, design, and hot drinks to open the business (which he runs with his sister and girlfriend) this summer. The bright white marble, polished black granite, and warm wood tones found throughout the cafe were hand-selected to mimic the look and feel of a grand piano.
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Bjarke Ingels Group designs a new home for Noma

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has designed a new home for one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the world: noma. The Danish eatery moved into their new digs earlier this year, leaving their old home in the Strandgade neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark, to the city's Christiania area. Christiania is Copenhagen's "hippie town," a former military base that was colonized by squatters in the 1970s, became a sort of lawless city-in-a-city where drugs were available at street stalls, and is now a mix of informal settlements and super-lux restaurants. The new noma is in a refurbished warehouse that was once used by the Royal Danish Navy and has been re-styled with a Scandi-chic interior for sampling avant-garde takes on Nordic cuisine. The restaurant is split across a variety of little buildings, each assigned a specific purpose (arrival, wine selection, etc.) and all arranged around the kitchen. The arrangement is meant to turn a visit to the restaurant into a culinary experience, one where you can visit the garden that grew the herbs on your plate and you can poke around the science experiments that might show up on the menu next year. The restaurant's garden, test kitchen, and bakery are all on-site along with fermentation labs, fish tanks, terrarium, and an ant farm. Outback Steakhouse this is not. Lest it all become too highfalutin, the interiors are lined with humble, local materials like exposed wood and salvaged brick. A greenhouse is light and unassuming, bordering even on utilitarian, and the overall aesthetic hews more closely to the streamlined humanism of Alvar Aalto than the flash and "hedonism" that other BIG projects are known for. The new location opened in Feburary, 2018, and is now available for reservations.
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Architecture Office splashes a nonprofit Minneapolis restaurant in neon

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.
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EOM’s Vespertine combines sculptural architecture with experimental food

Vespertine 3599 Hayden Avenue Culver City, California Tel: 323-320-4023

Eric Owen Moss Architects (EOM) recently completed work on Vespertine, a new 5,500-square-foot structure housing a boutique restaurant helmed by chef Jordan Kahn that was developed hand-in-hand with EOM principal Eric Owen Moss and other artists as a convergent experience joining food, architecture, and music. The gridded tower is made up of an undulating stack of powder-coated steel plates infilled with panes of glass and rises 50 feet housing two interior levels and a mezzanine. A clumpy garden filled with concrete benches and horsetail sits beside the tower, filling out a footprint identical to that of the monolith. When diners arrive, drinks are served in the horsetail garden, where a wedge-shaped concrete-block storage room also houses a bar. The glass-clad ground floor of the building is left unadorned, occupied only by a sculptural table suspended from the ceiling that wraps around the 38-by-38-foot space. An elevator housed in the building’s core takes guests to the second-floor kitchen, an all black arrangement of parallel worktables and induction burners where black-clad cooks use Olfa knives to dice vegetables and turn them into various pastes, gels, and foams. After conferring with the chef, diners make it to the roof terrace above, where custom bean bag chairs and tables built from ready-made woodworking benches fill out the space. Sometime during the 21-course meal, diners flow down into the building’s mezzanine level, where banquettes and movable acrylic tables outfit a proper dining room. Ceiling spotlights and etched tabletops work in tandem to refract light through and around the food. At the end of the meal, diners descend back onto the ground floor, where the sculptural table offers a parting gift containing scents inspired by the night’s meal.
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A trippy throwback bar with 60’s vibes opens in Chelsea

The Woodstock 446 W 14th St, New York Tel: 212-633-2000 Designer: Damaris Cozza Located on 14th street in Manhattan under the High Line, The Woodstock is a recently opened 1960s-themed restaurant and bar designed by set designer Damaris Cozza that features a vivid, retro design and specializes in cocktails and Neapolitan-style pizza. The 4,000-square-foot establishment is divided into two zones: a larger dining area and a smaller-scale lounge, both painted in bright colors. Communal tables fashioned out of repurposed bowling lanes and marble-topped tables occupy the larger hall, with seating comprised of a motley mix of mid-century furniture. The lounge, clad in wood paneling, has two coffee tables surrounded by plush leather and canvas couches. To cement the lounge’s homey personality, lava lamps, antique lamps, and even a stuffed rabbit are scattered across the space. Emphasizing the restaurant’s 1960s vibes are a series of period posters and paintings, ranging from President Kennedy’s campaign ads to psychedelic prints. Of particular note, The Woodstock boasts a rotating set of twenty-four Salvador Dali artworks from owners David Sitt and James Morrissey’s personal collections, as well as a fuchsia felt pool table.
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Snøhetta unveils subdued French Laundry expansion

Snøhetta, celebrity chef Thomas Keller, and architecture firm Envelope A+D have completed work on a 4,430-square-foot renovation and expansion of the famed French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. The understated overhaul delivers a new kitchen annex that boosts the restaurant’s support functions by providing new butchery, produce breakdown, and wine storage spaces. The new expanded configuration will help Keller and his team “innovate their craft and service,” according to a press release. The new pitched-roof kitchen annex is tucked behind the existing restaurant cottage and is designed specifically to harken to utilitarian agrarian structures that dot Napa Valley. The gabled building is wrapped in charred wood siding along one side, with the facades facing a new interior terrace wrapped in black curtain wall glass. For these walls, the architects created a special curve-based frit pattern that is inspired by the ways in which members of the kitchen staff move while they work. This pattern is laid out along the lower sections of each of these facades, with transparent and opaque sections located above. The rustic-but-sleek annex is designed with no overhangs and a roof that meets flush with its supporting wall. The structure is sited so that it is among the first things patrons see as they enter the restaurant grounds, which have been reworked into a series of discrete courtyards in the scheme. The design team created a rusticated basalt stone wall marked with dramatic entry thresholds to wrap these newly-programmed garden spaces. Inside the renovated 2,000-square-foot kitchen, Snøhetta has installed a new wood-burning oven and rotisserie, while also expanding and rearranging the interior architecture of existing kitchen areas to include a greater amount of working space. The sun-lit kitchen is topped by two vaulted skylights that curve upward to meet the ceiling. The kitchen’s new bell-shaped ceiling conceals kitchen gadgetry and also enhances kitchen acoustics, according to the press release. Snøhetta also designed a pair of concave stainless steel work tables for the project that are located within the kitchen pass and are designed to allow people working at the table to stay out of the path of travel into and out of the kitchen. The renovated restaurant is open to the public, but if you want to see these new spaces yourself, it will have to wait—The restaurant is currently fully-booked through the end of May 2018.
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Iconic postmodern Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant heavily damaged after fire

An iconic postmodern Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet in Los Angeles has been severely damaged after a fire yesterday afternoon. Located on 340 North Western Avenue, in Koreatown, the restaurant suffered burns to its roof and walls. Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart told San Fernando Valley Media that 40 firefighters took to the scene, dealing with the fire in just over 30 minutes. No injuries have been reported; however, an investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway. The KFC was formerly run by Jack Wilkee, who took on the franchise to make changes to the restaurant, which he operated for 25 years. "I challenged the notion that all KFC franchises should have the same standard design of fake mansard roofs (and) outsize Colonel Sanders bucket," Wilke told the L.A. Times in 1990. "Why not do something radically different for a change?" To make such a change, Wilke, an art collector, sought the expertise of local architect Elyse Grinstein, who he knew from his art circles. Grinstein's influence, exhibited in her charred work, comes from Frank Gehry, her former boss, and Michael Graves, who was Grinstein's student when she was a teaching assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles. Wilke enjoyed Gehry's overtones that carried through in Grinstein's architecture so much so that he let her have free reign with the KFC's design. "I turned the design over to her, and let her have her head," he said. As a result, Jeffrey Daniels, Grinstein's partner and colleague at the Culver City practice Grinstein/Daniels, produced the Koreatown icon that many know today. "Jack (Wilke) wanted to do an updated Googie KFC," Daniels said, "but we convinced him to take it one step further and reinterpret the 1950s diner style in a more sophisticated 1990s idiom," Daniels said, also speaking to the L.A. Times 27 years ago. The design may have been the first KFC to break the formal mold that had been a precedent for KFC's before, but it certainly was not the last.

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Also in California, the Palm Springs KFC dons a Googie aesthetic. Meanwhile, in Georgia, the Marietta "Big Chicken" (which became a KFC franchise in 1991) sports a 56-foot-tall steel chicken, complete with a moving beak. The much-loved roadside restaurant recently received $2 million makeover.
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Chicago has become a testing ground for the next wave of restaurant design

We are living in the Golden Age of restaurants. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans spend nearly half of their food budget eating at restaurants, rather than shopping at grocery stores. This fact stands in stark contrast to the greater trend in retail, which shows brick-and-mortar storefronts struggling against online competition and skyrocketing rent. Yet, success in the restaurant business is far from guaranteed. With more options for high quality food than ever before, restaurants new and old are rethinking their place in urban settings.

Though Chicago may be best known for deep-dish pizza and hotdogs, the food scene in the past decade has been defined more by several highly experimental restaurants such as the Michelin three-star micro-gastronomy restaurant Alinea. While such award-winning establishments have changed the culinary scene, it is the extreme flux of fast-casual eateries, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Freshii, that has saturated neighborhoods to the point of bursting.

Just as Chicago has been a testing ground for some of the world’s most unusual cooking techniques, it would seem the city is now becoming the site of an uncanny fast food resurgence. As McDonald’s moves its headquarters from its Dirk Lohan–designed modernist campus in Chicago’s Oak Brook suburb to downtown, other chains are also rethinking their spaces to appeal to the urban set. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell all have redesigned or launched new restaurants specifically for urban settings. In particular, Taco Bell has launched a new line of storefronts that are hardly recognizable as the affordable “Mexican” chain.

With the first of its kind opening in Wicker Park, Chicago, the Taco Bell Cantina takes a step toward the fast-casual market and away from its drive-through and suburban-mall food court roots. Most noticeably, the Cantina doesn’t have a drive-through, or even a parking lot. Situated in a small storefront—which once housed a short-lived high-end sex toy shop—the fast food giant takes advantage of the heavily pedestrian-trafficked Milwaukee Avenue retail district. Once pocked with numerous vacant storefronts, the street is now filling with local and national chains looking to cash in on the popularity of the walkable neighborhood.

As such, this Taco Bell is specifically designed for pedestrians. This carries into the interior with nonslip tile floors that guard against the slush and snow of Chicago winters. The dining area is somewhere between a fast-casual restaurant, an internet cafe, and a sports bar. Yes, a sports bar. When the Cantina opened, most stories revolved around the fact that this is the first Taco Bell to serve alcohol. Hard liquor can be mixed with Taco Bell’s proprietary Mountain Dew flavors, and beer is served in bottles. Large flat-screen TVs along one wall play sports, news, and, late at night (it is open 24 hours), the Syfy channel. During the day, it is not uncommon to see people sitting at the highly finished plywood furniture working on laptops. Airport terminals should take note of the number of outlets at this Taco Bell. With at least one for every seat, it is ironically more convenient to work there than at the trendy coffee shop down the street. All of this is part of a carefully planned shift by Yum! Brands, Inc., Taco Bell’s parent company. Since the opening of the Wicker Park Cantina in late 2015, 11 other “urban inline stores” have opened around the country. Along with the Cantina, Taco Bell has opened four other models in California, ostensibly referencing their specific locations. Those models have names like Heritage, Modern Explorer, California Sol, and Urban Edge. Of the 2,500 more Taco Bell locations Yum! plans to open around the world in the next five years, at least 300 of them are planned to be the urban iterations.

Another major brand that believes Chicago may be a perfect pilot site is the coffee giant Starbucks. After a major remodel of the tiny Wicker Park Starbucks, the space was rebranded as a higher-end offering that the Seattle-based company is calling Starbucks Reserve. Reserve locations serve small batch specialty coffees, and the design of the space has been rethought. Following a larger trend in retail, companies are looking to provide more differentiated environments, rather than the repetitious brand enforcing model companies like Starbucks are known for. Finer finishes, graphic and object references to the coffee harvesting process, and LEED compliant construction methods all add to this new “experience.” Doubling down in the windy city, Starbucks will also open its largest retail space to date downtown along Michigan Avenue. The third of its kind, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be a four-story, 43,000-square-foot coffee palace. Along with roasting the brand’s special Reserve coffees, the new space will include cafes and rooftop terraces.

While fast-casual chains continue to grow, that growth has begun to show signs of slowing in the past few years. The casual dining market on the other hand, typified by restaurants such as Applebee’s and TGI Fridays, has not only slowed to a stop—it has begun to lose ground. Analysts are now saying millennials, in particular, are just not interested in the chains that were so popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. With large numbers of twenty- and thirty-somethings moving to urban centers and preferring fast, generally healthier food, the restaurant industry is rushing to figure out how to keep up.

While Michelin-starred restaurants concoct fantastic dishes in spaces often difficult to find, let alone get reservations to, and fast casual brands continue to pump out quinoa wraps, a handful of large brands are trying to figure out what it means to have an urban presence. Rather than importing suburban drive-throughs, they’re mimicking urban coffee joints and neighborhood bars. Chicago, with its seemingly insatiable appetite for new and interesting restaurants, also seems to have room for some familiar faces that are willing to cater to its particular taste.

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Philippe Starck designs a surreal nautical interior for Miami’s Bazaar Mar

While seafood might be de rigueur in the culinary scene of Miami, few local restaurants can lay claim to the unique, boldly crafted environment found at Bazaar Mar, the newest eatery in the SLS Brickell tower. The ambitious interior design by Philippe Starck and innovative cuisine by chef José Andrés marks the team’s fourth collaboration under the Bazaar name, an offering from hospitality developer SLS Hotels. The company, which owns similar real estate ventures in Beverly Hills, South Beach, and Las Vegas, recently completed the SLS Brickell, one of many new high-rises sprouting up downtown and in the Brickell neighborhood.

SLS enlisted the distinctive architectural skills of Miami-headquartered Arquitectonica to design the tower, which also houses over 450 condominiums and a 132-key hotel. Towers like SLS Brickell are changing the Miami skyline while also creating a rich landscape for projects like Bazaar Mar to serve the burgeoning resident and tourist populations.

When it comes to the food, however, SLS entrusted Spanish-born Andrés—a James Beard Award winner and pioneer of molecular gastronomy—to be the charismatic public face of Bazaar Mar. His vision for the menu is an attractive mix of disparate textures, aromas, and aesthetics. This spirit of inventiveness translates seamlessly into Starck’s scheme for the interior design, which equals Andrés penchant for theatrics and hyperbole. Starck crafted a nautical fantasy complete with mythical sea beasts, picturesque coastal vignettes, and a distinctive white-and-navy color palette.

The 7,200-square-foot Bazaar Mar is composed of two dining rooms and a raw bar materially connected by more than 6,000 hand-painted tiles featuring the drawings of artist Sergio Mora and manufactured in Spain by Cerámica Artística San Ginés. The azulejo tilework, painted in a Delft Blue pastiche typical of 16th-century Dutch pottery, completely covers the walls and ceiling. The murals are ornamented with gilded crustaceans and cabaret-style mermaids that dissolve otherwise-solid walls into surrealist other worlds. Likenesses of people involved in the project, including Chef Andrés, appear throughout the murals. The furnishings include smooth marble-topped tables, upholstered love seats, and stark white wooden chairs, creating an evocative atmosphere from which the maritime narrative emerges.

The bright dining room contrasts with a offset cocktail bar finished in black and gold tiles of the same stylized motif. The total effect of Starck’s design reflects both its seaside locale and the rapidly evolving Miami art and architecture scene.

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SsD designs luminous, open interiors for Boston locations of Clover Food Lab

Cambridge, Massachusetts–based vegetarian fast food chain, Clover Food Lab, opened two new Boston locations last July by architecture firm SsD. The design of the locations, Boston Financial District and Longwood Medical and Academic Area, uses boundaries and light to emphasize Clover’s mission to promote transparency, simplicity, and community in the food industry.

“The boundary between ‘kitchen’ and the ‘customer’ is dissolved, allowing visual communication between the spaces while reflecting and multiplying light,” said architect Jinhee Park on the firm’s website. The space is open and bright, with simple finishes and bold signage, aiding in the layout’s legibility for customers.

Light fixtures are designed as art pieces, fulfilling their practical purpose while adding visual interest. A large wooden table, milled from a log, snakes through the space to add a warm natural touch to the minimalist design and provide an opportunity for communal dining experiences.

The new Financial District location is considered the brand’s Boston flagship location, able to seat 88 customers in the 2,300-square-foot space, plenty of room for the lunch rush.

Clover Food Lab 360 Longwood Avenue 160 Federal Street, Boston Architect: SsD

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Austin’s Torchy’s Tacos flagship location pays tribute to nostalgic diner

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Torchy’s Tacos' new flagship location is situated on the former site of Austin-based Fran’s Hamburgers who symbolized nostalgia for the archetypal Texas drive-in diner. The structure’s iconic red “X” and “Y” shaped columns pay tribute to Fran's which also featured a modernist red steel perimeter structure. 
  • Facade Manufacturer The Salinas Group (steel fabrication); Binswanger Glass (storefront); Empire Roofing (standing seam); Villa Lagoon Tile & Cement Tile Shop (encaustic concrete tile)
  • Architects Chioco Design
  • Facade Installer The Salinas Group (steel construction); Alamo Tile (reflectors & encaustic concrete tile); Binswanger Glass (storefront); Empire Roofing (standing seam)
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Austin, TX
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System Steel frame with storefront glazing
  • Products Binswanger Commercial Glass Storefront, custom fabricated steel structure, standing seam roofing
Led by architecture firm Chioco Design, the project integrates structural, electrical, HVAC, and daylighting systems into an extruded roof profile that extends beyond the facade to establish a large outdoor dining area. The architects say this helped to connect inside with outside: “The bright red columns support a crenelated roof profile extruded through the entire building, seamlessly connecting inside to out, and allowing for the addition of numerous north-facing skylights which provide an abundance of consistent natural light.” The roof is clad in a standing seam metal that folds down the side elevation and alternates between two coated finishes. This subtly reinforces a striped color scheme that extends to the interior of the restaurant by means of red tinted glazing and carefully positioned aluminum storefront mullions. Chioco Design said the project prioritized material quality: “We typically like to choose durable materials that give us an opportunity to experiment with texture, pattern, and color. We are big fans of concrete, steel, and wood and look to use these materials in various forms. You can sense their weight and timeless qualities.” This emphasis on materiality might best be seen on the west elevation which is covered in red road reflectors to produce a dazzling effect. The unique material “emphasizes the eclectic character of the neighborhood,” according to Chioco Design, who had previously worked with the restaurant chain to develop a set of dynamic material palettes for renovations to other locations. Also of note are the installation of encaustic cement tiles, offering unlimited pattern and color options, thoughtfully used on both interior and exterior surfaces to delineate entry and queuing areas. The building is located along Austin's South Congress shopping and cultural district and is open for business. Wondering what's the best thing to order at Torchy's? The architects recommend not passing up on the queso and green chile pork tacos!