Projects: Casual Dining
Staff -- Interior Design, 12/1/2011 2:00:00 AM
Winner: Elliott + Associates Architects
Project: Cafe 501
Location: Oklahoma City
Classen Curve is a mall. But it's designed according to Interior Design Hall of Fame member Rand Elliott's unique point of view: a parklike setting with buildings in a C shape. They turn their brick backs to surrounding streets. Only on internal pathways, shaded by canopies to fight summer's searing heat, do storefronts appear. Big-box is off-limits, and Elliott has also designed interiors there for a women's fashion boutique, a children's clothing store, a gastro-pub, and Café 501. Client discussions for the 5,400-square-foot restaurant yielded such adjectives as contemporary, comfortable, fresh, and friendly. To that list he added earthy, textured, and authentic. "It's about the notion of craft," he says, noting the skinny oak dowels hung from the ceiling. Since this is a family-run affair, he paid tribute with artwork. A plywood sculpture lacquered automotive red shows silhouettes of the owners' three sons, and their daughter turns up in a series of acrylic portraits.
Merit: Rockwell Group
Location: New York
Streamlined oak tables and felt-upholstered seating complement Marcel Breuer's brutalist Whitney Museum of American Art.
Merit: Joey Ho Design Limited
Project: Arthouse Café
Location: Hangzhou, China
Triangular forms in plasterboard and walnut veneer produce a kinetic, kaleidoscopic effect, echoed by the shapes of the Konstantin Grcic chairs.
Merit: Design Spirits Co.
Project: Lookout Café
Location: Niseko, Japan
Slatted partitions and canopies in spruce, a common Japanese softwood, warm up a ski resort's lunch spot.