13.4.2018

Mama Gaia

The design strategy uses minimal gestures with a natural material pallet allowing the restaurant’s signage and the menu of raw, whole foods provide the only color within the space.

As a relief to the massive scale of the existing building, the restaurant offers a variety of more intimate conditions with the enclosed booth seating, expansive community table, four-top tables, bar seating, and two-top tables in the corridor.

The existing tenant space—part of a recently renovated 1930’s distribution warehouse—was broken into a variety of space-defining volumes articulated in plywood and gypsum board and site built wood furniture. The materiality of the raw plywood with exposed end grain relates to the essence of the restaurant’s food and identity while adding warmth within the predominately cool, concrete space.  The various types of furniture, with a large community table at its core, are comprised of forms that attempt to remain honest to the scale and type of user interaction.  The two space defining elements, one at the booth seating and another extending overhead from the kitchen to the dining, are composed of plywood fins that are supported by gypsum board volumes in distinct yet related ways.

A large garage door facilitates a connection between the inside of the restaurant and the public building corridor, which is adjacent to an original loading dock area, now populated with exterior benches and tables for outdoor dining.

The final construction cost is $460,189 or $225/sf. The total project square footage is 2,040. Consultants for the project include HNA for Engineering and Hotel and Restaurant Supply for the Kitchen Design Consultant. Grinder, Taber & Grinder, Inc. was the general contractor for this project. All photos by Hank Mardukas Photography.

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