Choice Kitchen & Bakery

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Choice presented a unique opportunity to synthesize the baroque and rococo typologies with a contemporary digital practice. Using contemporary digital production methods and current fabrication technologies with classical techniques of mass production the design consistently demanded a consistent balance between the contemporary and the classical. The program, a classic French coffee and pastry store, market and bistro, demanded a warm material sensibility which opened the potential to express architectural surfaces with the richness of material effect to compliment the beauty of the pastry’s the space would house. As designer, project manager, and fabricator, Choice allowed for the development of a space as a jewelry box, which would encase and enhance the high design objects of the pastry’s and the ceiling. Throughout the space a combination of a wood-like stone cladding, corten steel menu boards, oiled Brazilian walnut custom furniture and hand made ceramic tiles evoke an aged rustic sensibility. Began in early 2008, as the economic climate plummeted during the projects development, a constant revision of design became necessary to address alternations in fabrication, the focus always being upon maintaining the integrity of the design through the application of custom design fabrication techniques designed to optimize material effect with minimal cost of finishing. The result was as strengthening of the architectural expression as each element had to pull as much energy within the space as possible. The Moon Jelly ceiling scape is a contemporary re positioning of a classical European typology of the relief ceiling. Taking the conceptual agenda of a continual fluid fabric capable of manifesting through cellular development. The economics of the particular program demanded the development of a single cell which when radially arrayed would create an infinite tiling which dissipates the the effects across the field, negating emphasis on any particular center. The system seamlessly integrates several functional components including speakers, lighting, and fire suppression equipment within the pores of the ceiling. The dense geometric structure of the Moon Jelly ceiling is composed of the overlapping geometry of a subdivided hexagonal grid with three triangulated focal point grids overlaid, a sine bases undulation establishes a rectilinear sub grid within. The surface is pulled into tension about a series of dropped cones which express a latent energy that peaks about moments of emergence of a secondary system, in this case the Chrysalis chandelier. By treating these cones as tangential vertices the interlaced spirals of surface effects create a hyper activity of surface. The Moon Jelly tile system floats above a secondary filigree systems which begins with the same geometric structure as the master tiles. In the case of the filigree the system works through radial symmetry exploring the relationship between figure and void as dynamic counterparts in as infinitely tillable relief. The blown glass lighting is a mediation between a highly designed engineering of a tensioned spatial cage and the unpredictability of the interventions of a liquid material, glass and its artisan. Collaborating directly with a glass blower at Brooklyn’s Urban Glass, the design learned from the process of glass blowing and was reflexively informed the glass blowing process. To locate a series of points in space which capture piano wire at critical moments of tension, weaving about a central void. The cage itself holds its form through the tension of the material, finding a balance which is an honest representation of the relationship between form and materiality. This volume this corset forms around becomes a point of injection for the glass, which inflates to the tolerance of the material and the cage, creating a volumetric body frozen in time at the peak of stress. This relationship of reconfiguration where one material creates a space and another plays within it, speaks a dialog of the control of the designer and the probability of the world in which a work lives. By respecting the latent physical characteristics of a material and challenging the limit of this material, new life can be breathed into ancient techniques of making. The lights represents a pinnacle moment in the sought after goal of the design development of choice, a juncture between the old and new which is not imposed but emergent from the material itself.

Project Data

  • Firm Evan Douglis Studio
  • Team Principal: Evan Douglis, Designer: Richard Sarrach
  • Role Project Designer
  • Program Restaurant
  • Location Brooklyn, New York
  • Date 2010
  • Status Built
  • Link to Project


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