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  5. Office dA
  6. 2008
  7. BanQ / Office dA

BanQ / Office dA

  • 01:00 - 3 December, 2009
BanQ / Office dA
BanQ / Office dA, © John Horner
© John Horner

© John Horner © John Horner © John Horner +15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Boston, MA, United States
  • Architects

    Office dA
  • Project Design

    Nader Tehrani, Monica Ponce de Leon
  • Principal In Charge

    Nader Tehrani
  • Project Architect

    Dan Gallagher
  • Project Team

    Harry Lowd, Richard Lee, Lisa Huang, Remon Alberts, Janghwan Cheon, Jumanah Jamal, Aishah Al Sager
  • Project Coordinators

    Catie Newell, Brandon Clifford
  • Structural Consulting Engineer

    Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
  • Mep Consulting Engineer

    Wozny/Barbar & Associates, Inc.
  • Lighting Consultant

    Collaborative Lighting
  • Contractor

    Homeland Builders
  • Acoustical Consultant

  • Kitchen Consultant

    TriMark USA, Inc.
  • Building Code Consultant

    Hal Cutler
  • Area

    446.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. Located in the old Penny Savings Bank, Banq is a restaurant located at the base of the old banking hall. Divided into two segments, the front area on Washington Street is programmed as a bar, while the larger hall behind serves as the dining area. The design of the space, however, is conceptualized around another division, on the z axis, between the ceiling and the ground. If the ground needs to remain flexible as a result of fluctuating activities of the restaurant space-- two seaters, fours, and sixes, among a range of other organizations related to parties and other events-- then, the ceiling contains fixed programs that are part of the building's infrastructure-- the structure, drainage, mechanical equipment, sprinkler system, lighting, and other the acoustic systems. 

© John Horner
© John Horner

To that end, we have developed a striated wood-slatted system that conceals the view of the mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems on the longitudinal axis, while offering a virtual canopy under which to dine. The geometry of the wood slats conform to each equipment above, but are also radiused in order to smoothen the relationship between other adjoining equipment, creating a seamless landscape. The columns and the wine storage, in the middle of the hall, serve to uphold the fiction, and appear to be suspended from the ceiling. if the longitudinal axis emphasizes the seamless surface, then lateral views offer striated glimpses into the service space above, and demystify the illusion. To underline this strategy, certain areas of the ceiling "drip" and "slump", acknowledging the location of to place exit signs, lighting features, and other details.

© John Horner
© John Horner

Below the ceiling, the functional aspects of a dining space are fabricated with warm woods and relaminated bamboo amplifying the striping affect already at play throughout the space. Striations of the ground, the furnishings, and the ceiling all conspire to create a total effect, embedding the diners into the grain of the restaurant.

© John Horner
© John Horner

Acknowledging the historical setting of the building, the ceiling hovers away from all interior walls and instead finds its support in suspension from above. Nearly running the entire width of the space, each rib of the undulated ceiling is made from unique pieces of three-quarter-inch birch plywood adhered together in a scenario that likens to a puzzle; only one possible location for each unit, formulating the continuous member. These continuous members are fastened to the main structural ribs running perpendicular to the lattice, tracing both the overall ceiling topography and the steel supports of the base building. Spacing between the visible ceiling ribs is variable; compressing and releasing to maintain visual densities of the overall surface as seen from different angles.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "BanQ / Office dA" 03 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


CARLOS FAURE · September 12, 2012

Interesante proyecto, espero poderlo conocer pronto, en persona. Saludos desde México.

ESTUDIO VIDA · August 15, 2012

BanQ / Office dA | ArchDaily vía @archdaily #EDI1

Rafael Tobar · August 15, 2012

BanQ / Office dA | ArchDaily vía @archdaily #EDI1

John de Manincor · August 01, 2012

Precursor to the Martian invasion

adam crain · June 28, 2012

Over and over, I see super nice restaurants ($$$ build out) means you&#39ll be closed within a few years. Like Banq Boston

Rock MacDaniel · June 26, 2012
To2a · May 17, 2012 :O the stupid look on my face makes me realise i&#39m a loser.

?yona · May 16, 2012 ???? ?????? ????? ?? ?????USA #?????_?????

Keith Conrad · May 16, 2012

BanQ / Office dA | ArchDaily via @archdaily

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Subway Tile Bathroom · September 28, 2011

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daqb design · February 15, 2011
architastic! · May 11, 2010

contender for the "don&#39t bring your date here if they&#39re an architect" list. (unless you don&#39t mind staring at ceilings)

??? Man Kyum Chai · May 05, 2010

???????????.. ;) RT @verakisel: plywood beauty - BanQ restaurant from Office dA -

Vera Kisel · May 05, 2010

plywood beauty - BanQ restaurant from Office dA - #architecture, #interiordesign

Katie Dreitzler · May 05, 2010
amelia · May 04, 2010
Cellyism · May 02, 2010

Reading: "BanQ / Office dA | ArchDaily"( )

Scott Roschi · December 14, 2009

Banq in Boston is an amazing interior with plenty of visual appeal:

Miko · December 07, 2009

BanQ / Office dA:

ryan knock · December 05, 2009

i find the comments on this project intriguing ... from the complex rants on CNC followed by "it needs better lighting" (yes, these photos are way too bright for a restaurant) to "i've toured this place" (really, is the restaurant that hard to get in that you had to book a tour?)

mfa · December 05, 2009

Well put Jdisa. A major issue for me is that despite the computer-generated design and fabrication, the end result is still just another expressionistic variation. In fact, its approaching the kitch of Bart Prince, in particular the Joe and Etsuko Price Residence, albiet from a different path...

kfrank · December 04, 2009

I've toured this space...the spatial effects created by the ceiling/screen are actually pretty amazing. Really intriguing play between light and darkness, depth of view, sense of enclosure, spatial continuity. Much better than the photos suggest. Also, the quality of construction is much better than I expected at first glance. The joinery is seamless and the entire structure is completely rigid. Another amazing project by Office dA.

thom · December 04, 2009

I think it needs a different kind of lighting

christopher · December 04, 2009

you've got to realize something about restaurant design: they are projects of minimum inputs to maximum outputs and they usually don't last long.

that being said, we have and will continue to see sliced up ceilings in hospitality design because it remains the cheapest and most effective way of replicating a 3d surface in an restaurant interior. there is no "performance" in restaurant design that digital modeling or CNC can draw from (realistically) that would dramatically change the way these projects operate. the "function" IS aesthetic: covering up what the Base-Building Architect left-over for "Build-Out" that no one wants to see in a quality dining atmosphere.

even so, atmosphere is only 1/3 of the equation for successful restaurants (service and food being the others).

Jdisa · December 04, 2009

The end result leaves me largely unmoved. While the digital exploration behind this kind of work can be interesting, its translation via the constraints of fabrication reveals the extent to which our construction process so often cannot match our digitally-supported aspirations. Taking beautiful virtual surfaces, and then crudely sectioning and CNC-ing them as flat planes speaks to me of a powerful disconnect between the idea and its realization. The office's exposition of the project strikes me as profoundly post hoc. I think the challenge for designers is to find a way to use digital technologies in harmony with the possibilities of physical construction, rather than this kind of abrupt collision.

martin · December 08, 2009 08:37 PM

I do not agree, the very idea is that a series of elements reflects a perfect surface, and that individual parts acts as a singular form. If you would just create the surface as such the idea would be lost. And you would loose the transparency in between the sheets.

oded · December 04, 2009
theSelector · December 04, 2009 02:38 AM

hard to say... one was finished in 2008, one in 2007 perhaps, and we just hear about them both now.

Banq is closed, and it is a shame.

Dustin · December 04, 2009 01:29 AM

exactly what I was thinking...

plots · December 03, 2009

nice to see a project which explores the relationship between computer generation of a surface, manufacturing, and the visual effect it has as an experience of the existing structure. I appreciate the topology generated by the contours as it exists along the two different axes, the experience of the contours as a surface in one direction and as a screen in the other.

Office dA is doing some very interesting work

StructureHub Blog · December 03, 2009

Every time I've encountered projects, which like this one, use spaced-out layering to play upon concepts of structure and volume, the effect has been endlessly intriguing. This one is no different in that regard. However, it seems to elevate the idea beyond a mere "garnish" to an otherwise ordinary facade; here the layers seem more than just that. They whimsically reflect structural forces themselves, rather than simply enliven their appearance. Nicely done.

fokt · December 03, 2009

This place has gone out of business...


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© John Horner

BanQ餐厅 / Office dA