Our commercial projects include office, automotive and service, mixed use, and tenant improvement, and encompass new construction, additions, and remodels. A hallmark of our commercial design is the introduction of residential concepts and comforts into the work environment. Our retail projects include; High-end, boutique, showroom and retail, and automotive and service. Our restaurant projects include; Fine dining, casual, quick-serve, and franchises. Our retail and restaurant projects have provided us the opportunity to introduce our product, graphic, and branding design experience, and have featured strong integration of outdoor environments.
Our restaurant work highlights our ability to develop a strong Program, with technical expertise and grace, while creating memorable and evocative spaces reflecting our Owner's concepts. The Concept Development phase is perhaps the most important, and one of our strengths, integrating imagery and spacial ideas with menu and workflow fundamentals as the backbone. Our back-of-house expertise includes menu design and analysis, complete equipment specification and space planning, workflow analysis, and budgeting. Our front of house expertise includes space planning, fixture and furnishings, lighting design, and accessories. We work well with clients who have their own specifications and technical requirements already established, those who need assistance with Concept Development, or those seeking a complete Design-Build package.
Office and Retail
Our office work capitalizes on the understanding of comfort and quality spaces developed in our residential practice and brings it to the work environment. Our resulting commercial spaces thus possess those qualities more akin to residential environments—interior/exterior connections, quality daylighting, hierarchy and progression, and strong materiality. Our buildings are comfortable places to work within, form strong and dynamic interactions with people and the environment, and respect the notion that, often times, a majority of our waking hours are spent in these environments.
This beautiful project is an adaptive reuse of one of South Pasadena's most notable historic resources: the Edwards and Faw Building on Mission Street. Originally a subdivided retail-ground-floor and subdivided office-second-floor, both floors were opened up to provide a unique two-story, with a split-level wine cellar, fine dining restaurant in South Pasadena's Mission Street District.
Downstairs features the Front Dining, adjacent to Mission Street. The Kitchen, Food Prep, and Dishwashing areas comprise the remainder of the first floor, along with Restroom facilities. Adjacent to the Kitchen is the Downstairs Bar, which parallels the main public access to the Back Patio. Upstairs features a matching Upstairs Front Dining and Bar, and a Back Dining area adjacent to the server access. Separate restroom facilities complete the upstairs. Dividing the two spaces is a unique split-level Wine Cellar, partially elevated into the second floor, becoming the elevated booth seating upstairs.
An early requirement was to make the restaurant uniquely South Pasadena in its design and character, while still maintaining a distinctive fine dining experience. The solution was to visually open the restaurant to two of the City's most recognizable features—historic Mission Street and the Metro Gold Line adjacent to the outdoor patio. By removing storefront-hiding swings and making the downstairs one continuous space, the urban charm of Mission Street becomes a dynamic and glowing back-drop for diners. The back patio, sheltered beneath a 100-year old oak tree, derives its rhythm and energy from the passing Gold Line trains stopping at the Gold Line station a few hundred feet away.
Dining and Public Spaces
Working off our project Image Boards, the all-new interior construction features materials and techniques more akin to classic 1940's design than a contemporary restaurant. Echoing off the original brick masonry and black storefront system, a steel-and-glass wine cellar was placed above the Kitchen, which provided additional structural bracing (facilitating complete interior wall removal). A wood, steel, and-glass stairway system echoed this theme, and was complimented with a warm color palette and special furnishings.
Kitchen, Bar, and Service Areas
The open Kitchen sits in the center of the ground floor, open to the front dining, with spaces dedicated to preparation, storage, clean-up, and utilities residing behind it. Two circulation patterns were developed, one for guest circulation and the other for service circulation, accessing both floors and the back patio separately. The downstairs bar, adjacent to the Kitchen, allows customers to watch food being prepared and perhaps sharing a conversation with Chef Lalo. The upstairs bar is completely autonomous, with its own dishwashing and ice machines, effectively providing glassware for the entire upstairs spaces.
Drawings and Image Boards
The floor plans show the relationships of the project's complex program elements—blue keynotes are public spaces, while red are service and employee. Our Image Boards and Concept Renderings were a powerful tool establishing early-on the look and feel of the project, and aided us in selecting final finishes and fixtures key to the project's success.