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From North Office Architects:
Since North Office Architects started its practice in October 2016, the office has been invited to design a few cuisine restaurants. What is unique and challenging about restaurants are the way they push spatial design to be optimized for every day operations, yielding a vibrant yet highly functional space.
Restaurant owners have a few common requests ‐ to provide maximum number of seating, efficient seating‐ and service station layout, variety of seating types for customers to choose from, and most importantly, cleanliness and ease of maintenance. All of which contribute to optimize the everyday operation of space.
Restaurants are not only a highly efficient architectural space, but also presents itself as a direct personal platform for each customer through social media. It is where the customer has the opportunity ‐ and inevitable contributes to the success or fall of the restaurant ‐ by presenting the food they receive, the atmosphere they are within and the social environment they are engaged with. This puts a positive pressure on both the restaurant and the architectural design. Since the power of social media can deeply affect a restaurant's reputation and popularity, we take this opportunity to utilize it along with the architectural design as a marketing tool for the owner. Therefore, NOA believes that restaurants in our modern era need to be “Instagrammable” emphasizing certain elements as a focal point, either a feature wall or ceiling.
An example of a focal point was the opportunity of a large concrete curved wall measuring 11ft in height by 50ft in length. This brought a central spine carrying the design intent of the space ‐ creating a dynamic and warm environment for its customers through undulating wood vertical slat. The shape and design was a direct reflection of the conversation between the designer and client keeping in mind the customer and worker in the space. These vertical elements contributed to a low maintenance and provided a warm and inviting backdrop from which conversations and social activities within the space, as well as the virtual space of social media, are instigated.
This post is forms part of our blOAAg fall series “Renovation + Relocation” exploring renovation stories by local architects from the profession’s point of view. Check out the other posts in our series for more stories from Ontario Architects!