Earlier this month, the AIA Los Angeles chapter revealed 11 competitive finalist eateries for the 2017 Restaurant Design Awards. Last Friday, the category winners and People's Choices — which include WORD, Design, Bitches, the Rockwell Group, and more — were revealed during a ceremony at Dwell on Design Los Angeles.
Take a gander at the winning projects below.
Cassia, Santa Monica, CA. Designed by: Montalba Architects, Inc.
Jury Comments: “This is just a purely beautiful space. The ceiling heights, the textures, the surfaces, the layout are super inviting. It feels serious yet fun, big and modern, yet intimate. | We loved the light, we loved the white tile, and you can see the concrete beams of the original building. | The detailing was very well executed and thoughtful, and the selection of materials and the overall composition was highly considered.”
Little Octopus, Nashville, TN. Designed by: Design, Bitches.
Jury Comments: “We loved that a lot of things about this were surprising—the quirk of the bar, the white ceilings, which made the space super sunny, the quilted corral fabrics, the Japanese-like banquettes, the mid-century lamps. | Meticulously done, without feeling overdone. It’s pretty and tasteful and elegant without the theme being shoved down your throat. It’s very concise. It’s very thoughtful. | We like the condition of where the infill restaurant makes its presence known on the exterior façade.”
Salazar, Los Angeles, CA. Architect: Project M+. Landscape Designer: The Yard (Samantha Gore). Interior Design: The Yard (Samantha Gore) + Project M+.
Jury Comments: “We love that, at a time when everyone is repurposing things, the reuse of the building was wonderful. It really engages the neighborhood. | We love the joy of the whole project. The architectural elements are beautiful but the natural quality of the environment shines through in an authentic way. | The idea of the restaurant as a landscape, as a garden, resonated.”
Beer Belly, Long Beach, CA. Designed by: MAKE Architecture.
Jury Comments: “We thought it was interesting that we couldn’t tell the difference between renderings and actual design. That was significant. | The wood work is so graphic and so strong. It really has a big impact without going over the top in terms of décor and design.”
Little Ground Café, Los Angeles, CA. Designed by: WORD.
Jury Comments: “It had a lot of impact with very few elements. | We loved the communal aspect and its materials and how it engages the neighborhood. | We responded positively to the graphic sensibility of the wood screen, and also the urban and social engagement of the corner.”
Break Room 86, Los Angeles, CA. Designed by: Houston Hospitality.
Jury Comments: “It has such a sense of fun and we love the creative aspects that they put together. | The theme permeated all aspects of the project and incorporated components of TV and Record Album into the architectural. | All of these lounges work on a theme, but this one stoked me the most in terms of, not only the décor, but the interactive aspect of it for the guests. Going in there and being able to immerse yourself in this idea of the break room and the karaoke and the music: it almost felt more authentic in its craziness.”
People's Choice Award winners:
Pictured above: People's Choice Award - Cafe/Bar: Little Ground Café, Los Angeles, CA. Designed by: WORD.
The 2017 jury includes: writer Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times; architect Aaron Neubert, Founder and Principal Architect ANX / Aaron Neubert Architects; restaurateur Caroline Styne, Restaurateur and co-owner of The Lucques Group (Lucques, a.o.c, Tavern, The Larders, Larder Baking Company and operators of Food + Wine at the Hollywood Bowl)
Photos courtesy of the AIA|LA.
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