Renovating a derelict industrial building in Los Angeles's up-and-coming Arts District is no small feat. For local firm Wick Architecture and Design, the "blank slate" assignment of outfitting a Mexican taqueria within a bare-boned structure represented a significant challenge but also an opportunity to make a bold statement. With the intent of creating a new outpost for an already popular Culver City haunt, it's no wonder that the practice made such strides. Opting to express the Loqui restaurant's Mexican roots through a prevalent use of handcrafted and patinaed terra-cotta bricks, the firm transformed a cold, empty shell into a warm and inviting eatery. And yet, it was able to keep much of the original exposed pipes and concrete surfaces intact. The simple introduction of a single material made all the difference. By doing so, Wick Architecture and Design ensured that this rustically decorative yet geometrically restraint scheme wouldn't be too overwrought or kitschy. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Posts tagged with "Restaurants":
Defined by an elaborate program of neon signs, geometric shapes, repetitive patterns, and pastel colors, M-Rad's design for Los Angeles’s recently opened Game Over Pizza joint harkens back to a simpler, bygone era. As if pulled right out of the 1980s, the new 45-seat, arcade-ready, eat-play restaurant gives new meaning to the 20- or 30-year trend cycle. M-Rad's goal was to create a space that would pay homages to the early digital Vaporwave scene and cater to a Gen-Z clientele, rapidly reviving this graphical and music-based genre. And yet, there are also nods to the Italian Memphis movement that play to Millennial taste. Wrapped in this nostalgic, reference-drenched, scheme are hints of Art Deco geometry, a Pop Art palette, and kitsch 1950s amoebic furniture. Modernist austerity and restraint have no place in this Hollywood haunt. The Gothic tradition is still alive and well, a formidable rival to its Neoclassic counterpart. With such a statement piece, M-Rad is challenging the contemporary status quo of minimalist luxury. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Egyptian street food is the perfect blend of Arab and North African influence. Fava beans replace chickpeas, bessara, hummus, and tahini. Recently opened in New York's bustling Nolita district, Zooba has quickly become a unique player in the city's daunting and at times saturated food scene. The new outpost offers up a focused menu of its national cuisine while paying homage to its hometown Cairo. The chain's refreshed brand identity was carefully conceived by celebrated graphic designer Jessica Walsh while it's New York interior was designed by award-winning architect Ahmed El Husseiny, founder of Brooklyn-based creative agency AE SuperLab. Situated on the corner of storied thoroughfares Kenmare Street and Cleveland Place, the spacious eatery joins the neighborhood with a facade mural that depicts a huge, sloppily painted Arabic logo designed by Walsh. This fresco distinguishes itself from the litany of painted walls nearby and yet seamlessly integrated into the urban vernacular of the area. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
An unassuming brick building in Detroit’s long-neglected Core City neighborhood was once home to a booming repair shop in the heyday of automotive manufacturing. “Magnet Radiator Works,” was emblazoned on the entrance of the facility in faded red paint and still is, except today the 2,100-square-foot structure is instead one of the hottest restaurants to pop up in the Motor City this year. Featuring an interior ambiance that feels both futuristic and chill, Magnet is the vision of Ishtiaq Raffiuddin, principal of local firm UNDECORATED, and developer Philip Kafka, both the minds behind the 2017 Thai-food sensation TAKOI. The duo transformed a former garage near downtown Detroit into a minimalistic and intimate space that aids Chef Brad Greenhill in serving up a bold Mediterranean cuisine. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
What does a Fitbit have in common with a cafe? According to Andrés Jaque, founder and principal of the Office for Political Innovation (OFFPOLINN), both are “prosthetics of the body” that extend its functions and operations into the surrounding world. The Madrid- and New York-based studio infused that idea into its vibrant design for Run Run Run, a new eatery in Madrid’s Vallehermoso neighborhood that’s part farm, part athletic center, part cafe, part something else entirely. OFFPOLINN collaborated with restaurateurs Grupo La Musa to create a space for runners to refuel with a post-workout pit stop. The cafe’s main seating space is in a greenhouse-like structure trimmed in a mint-green frame that sits atop the marigold-yellow, basement-level kitchen and communal bar. Hanging from the concrete structure above, a vertical garden grows between the two levels and supplies the cafe with fresh produce. “Clean eating” takes on new meaning as water from an open shower provided for runners to rinse off is reclaimed to irrigate the garden. Other areas more often associated with gyms, such as a locker room, further support customers using the city as a training course. To maximize the interior’s flexibility, Jaque and his team conceived the space as “a metabolism rather than a fixed box.” Freestanding furniture and architectural features are color-coded according to their relative fixity. Peachy hues in the interlocking marble slabs of the floor are echoed in the scalloped backs of the blush sofas as well as the bubblegum-tinted ceiling to signal permanence. Red and green represent objects in flux or in a constant state of motion. Movable metal chairs, stools, and tables coated in blood orange are paired with vibrant turquoise cork seats resembling stacked bricks, each designed, prototyped, and fabricated by OFFPOLINN’s Spanish atelier. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Sydney-based designer and self-professed foodie Matt Woods is known for his unbridled aesthetic. Motifs of his oeuvre include beautifully repurposed objects, attention to a material, and a conceptual design approach, all of which show up again and again in his significant body of work—a plethora of cafes, restaurants, bars, and retail spaces. His designs don’t hit you over the head with historic references or millennial stylistic nuances. Rather, the overall effect stems from a pleasantly unexpected aesthetic; where if you were to take all furniture, wall coverings, light fixtures, and all other elements apart and separate them into a collected pile, it would look like those things wouldn't normally go together—and yet somehow, they do and to an impressive degree. Enter the otherworldly atmosphere of the Messenger Cafe, a sweeping space swathed in terrazzo. The materiality of the aggregate-manufactured tiles that clad most of the space has become a metaphor for the scheme: beauty found in irregularly and seeming lack of uniformity. The walls, floors, countertops, and caramel leather cushioned banquettes seating are also anchored by terrazzo slabs produced by Fibonacci Stone. Woods are implemented in steeple-like triangle planes, placed in the foreground of the cafe's curtain walls. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
Local interior design firm BlazysGérard has converted a former insurance office into Montreal's latest breakfast and lunch hotspot Dandy; celebrated chef Michael Tozzi first venture out on his own. The monumental restaurant balances an unpretentious atmosphere with a touch of class; achieved through the running theme of arches and circular elements. The design practice identified this design motif in the space's large pre-existing, street-facing windows and carried through the implementation of structural details, bespoke pendant lamps, and oversized mirrors. The enfilade-esque restaurant incorporates all of its dining tables, chairs, and banquets in one central two-row volume with a sequence of mobile-like, two-prong, arch-shaped lamps running above; that evoke structural room-diving archways on either side. Altogether, this scheme cuts an impressive profile. But however bold in geometric expression the concept might be, Dandy's design is intended to act as an unimposing backdrop canvas for its clientele. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
Of all the places in New York City that might conjure up spatial memories of Paris, apparently French elegance can best be found at Saks Fifth Avenue. In tandem with the recent 53,000-square-foot renovation of the flagship’s main floor, as well as a new OMA/Rem Koolhaas-designed escalator connecting it to the beauty and cosmetics section above, an upscale restaurant within the building offers shoppers a different type of design to invest in: one that’s slightly more delicious and feels world’s away. L’Avenue is Philippe Starck’s latest take—and New York’s own version—of the iconic eatery of the same name that opened in Paris over 20 years ago under the leadership of owners Jean-Louis Costs and Alex Denise. Its second and only outpost, now gracing the top two floors of Saks, was created with a sense of style and timelessness like its sister site abroad, but with some added comfort. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
An assuming brick building in New York’s East Village houses an elegant and warm Japanese restaurant on its first floor that’s been designed as an ode to the mid-autumn full moon. Tsukimi, located at 228 East 10 St., recently opened under the tutelage of renowned chef Takanori Akiyama and was inspired by the festival tradition of tsukimi, or “moon viewing,” which happens at the start of fall harvest each year. Designed by Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack, the modest space “aids in slowing the mind down” and utilizes both expressive and simple patterns to focus guests on intentional eating and community. White oak is the primary material found throughout the restaurant and is visible in everything from the two communal tables that face each other, to the shelves underneath, and the tambour wall paneling behind. The soft tones of the wood and its various textures are mixed to produce a comforting and relaxed feel. The design team further honed in on the tsukimi symbolism by enveloping the interior with a pleasant glow, one that also extends to the street via the corduroy glass on the windows. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
Record-breaking traffic. Rain. President Trump's decision to move $2.5 million from the National Park Service budget to pay for an over-the-top Independence Day parade complete with tanks. With all of the July 4th gloom to wallow in, why not drown your sorrows in food? And what better food for July 4th emotional eating than the humble hot dog? There is no substitute for a juicy frank, especially when it's consumed under the delightful glow of retro neon. To that end, AN has rounded up America's high-design sausage sit-downs, weenie joints, and tube steak emporiums so you, dear reader, may eat in style this holiday weekend: Chicago's Superdawg has been slinging topping-heavy hot dogs since 1948. This 1970s North Carolina mini-chain operates out of huts shaped like dog houses (woof!). The trash cans are designed to look like fire hydrants. The big (literal) orange that is Mark's Hot Dogs has been a fixture in San Jose since 1936. The National Register of Historic Places–listed, family-owned, pagoda-shaped Walter's splits its dogs like a book before they hit the grill. Across the street from Mamaroneck High School, the stand has served up tube steaks to teens and country club dads for 100 years. The Coney Island Hot Dog Stand is a duck of a dog! It's Boomer-aged but the franks are always fresh. Green roof? No, I said ween(ie) roof! The fiberglass-and-steel tube steak on top of Wienerlicious is 60 feet long and it's perfect. This guy agrees:
The Bushwick, Brooklyn, outpost of Danny Bowien’s San Francisco–born Mission Chinese Food opened recently. The new restaurant takes the borderline-psychedelic aesthetics of the downtown spot and restructures them, this time on a light-bright industrial grid in a space designed by Lauren Devine, Alex Gvojic, and Nikki Mirsaeid. The tubular lighting crossing the ceiling was designed by none other than Nitemind, the studio best known for adding effects to raves and tours of artists like Mitski and Kelela, as well as for their more permanent lights at venues like Bossa Nova Civic Club, also in Bushwick. The overhead LED tubes shift through a rainbow of colors, dousing the space in shades normally reserved for hours much later than dinnertime; fittingly, the restaurant is located in the same warehouse space as the club Elsewhere. There are also unusual lighting fixtures in the bathrooms—The Matrix–themed colored codes descend in obscure calculations down the mirrors—and above the bar, TVs lined up in a row play silent film clips of people dining alone. 599 Johnson Avenue Brooklyn, NY, 11237 (718) 628-3731 Lauren Devine, Alex Gvojic, and Nikki Mirsaeid
What’s most surprising about Rockwell Group’s design for R17, the new speakeasy-inspired lounge atop Lower Manhattan’s Pier 17, is that it’s not flashy. In contrast to the stand-out building it’s housed in, the 1,830-square-foot restaurant and bar provides a chic setting for cocktail and wine lovers to casually get a drink after work without being inundated by the holiday crowd that’s currently shrouding the South Street Seaport district. While the majority of the structure’s rooftop will transform next week into a veritable winter wonderland complete with New York’s newest ice-skating rink, the bar itself is designed to maintain an aura of intimacy. At least, that’s how Rockwell Group envisions it. “We wanted to create a calming atmosphere that people could escape to,” said Senior Interior Designer Renee Burdick, “similar to how New Yorkers might escape to a cabin or chalet upstate during winter.” But that vision is completely seasonal. For The Howard Hughes Corporation, the group that owns the mixed-use development, the design team crafted a “pop-up” space that will transition in both style and setting from a winter pavilion into a summer pavilion. While R17 can only accommodate around 70 people now, when it’s floor-to-ceiling sliding doors are open in the warmer months and the dining area expands onto a tiered terrace, the space effectively quadruples in size, increasing capacity to 300. The current cabin vibes, created thanks to low-lighting, fur pillows, dark-hued furniture, and textured wool rugs, will be replaced with a lighter material palette and beachy upholstery. The large fireplaces will become settings for playful art installations. This “transformative” approach to interior architecture is very site-specific, said Rockwell Group. Not many hospitality projects have the bandwidth to literally flip the space throughout the year. “The programming shift here is enormous,” said Richard Chandler, associate principal and studio leader at Rockwell Group. “It will have a completely different look and feel in the summer. We'll add new pieces to the design every year so it’ll always be evolving.” Some things about the lounge will stay the same. Its anchoring design feature is a blue onyx-topped bar with a sand-colored wavy tile that serves as siding. Burdick says it’s designed to look like a mountain skyline. These two elements bring a feel of fluidity to the space, along with the large-format printed tiles on the floor, that contain brushstrokes of blue, silver, and gray. The motif of movement is continuously carried out on the ceiling and windows, which include metallic threads and gilded wood-and-metal screens respectively. These help tone down the bright sunlight that may stream into the space during the day and shield restaurant-goers from the lively scene going on outside, which Rockwell Group will outfit with a temporary bar and lounge that’s reminiscent of a ski lodge interior. These “warming huts” will be shaped to mimic the urban water towers found atop buildings across the city. Much like these locally-inspired building shapes, R17 boasts an array of city, state, and American-made materials that complement the mountain chalet and Long Island beach home concepts. The space serves as a new living room for the city—with arguably the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge in all of Manhattan. It doesn’t have a flamboyant entrance and isn’t suffocated by the bright, technicolor lights that glare out of Pier 17 at night. It’s an understated, flexible space that’s simple and luxurious. Although, in the summer, Rockwell Group plans that the expanded scale, along with the pier’s popular summer concert series, will bring a different kind of festive and potentially exclusive energy to new bar and restaurant. According to Chandler, we'll have to wait and see.