Architects: Bestor Architecture
Project Location: Culver City, California, USA
Project Team: Barbara Bestor (Principal), Cathy Johnson (Project Architect), John Colter (Senior Designer)
Landscape Architect: Urban Organics Landscape Design, Nicholas Tan
Structural: Gordon Polon Engineering
Contractor: Colin Thompson
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Ray Katchatorian
This project transforms a dark Shakey’s pizza parlor into a light-filled contemporary artisanal pizza restaurant. The concrete block building had many layers applied over the years, we stripped it down to its bare skin, which was then sealed.
Inside a modern, bold red steel hood hangs over the wood burning oven making what could be a typical ‘earthy’ hearth into a bright, active center for the room. New skylights and large cuts around the exterior bring in so much light during the day that electrical lighting is not used until sunset. The street level apertures also open up the restaurant to the street, welcoming customers.
The background elements are wrapped in plywood (walls), kraft paper (ceilings) or marble (counters) and strong primary colors punctuate custom furniture designed by the firm. There is an intentional play between high design- an homage to the palette of Lina Bo Bardi- and lowly pop culture that follows the lead of the restaurant’s ‘serious’ pizza at reasonable prices motto. On the exterior block walls have been painted with a hugely exaggerated pop ‘brick wall’ pattern, there is an extra-long bike rack, and a mini indoor/outdoor garden is split by a huge glass sliding wall. The restaurant is EXTREMELY kid friendly and has a rather large family fan base.
Text provided by Bestor Architecture