R&R:Tuck Shop


This weekend I can’t say I did much work, but a little rest and relaxation is exactly what was needed.  Living in Montreal has many benefits, among them is Food, and this weekend I got to taste some of the best food I ever had. Tuck Shop is a small restaurant in the neighbourhood that serves magic for your taste pallet.  The decor was eclectic with colourful seating and a large rustic chandelier.  Overall a good mix of style including; industrial pieces and high gloss white brick tiles.


I even loved their christmas decor and tried to snap a quick pic with my phone, but it doesn’t do it justice.  The window planters are layered with evergreens and vertical sticks with bright orange berries, which look bright red in my image.


RESTAURANTS: OCEANO by Palmira Pereira

My design concept stemmed from the idea that I wanted “something old”, quite old in fact, like my grandmother’s farm house in Portugal which  has been in the family for several hundred years. Built with thick walls of stone that are approximately one foot deep & wide plank wood floors. Everything aged to perfection.  From there the idea developed into what is commonly viewed as a wedding ritual. That being said I needed “something new”, the clean crisp look of modern design. “Something borrowed”, reminiscing on memories of my grandmother’s farm house  & the wonderful  summers spent there. I aspired to replicate that feeling of nostalgia in my design.  Last, but not least, “something blue”,  a very specific shade of blue that speaks of a nation that has had a very intimate & enduring relationship with the sea, Portugal.

My goal is not to design a traditional or modern version of a  Portuguese restaurant but rather to infuse the “Portuguese elements ” I’ve mentioned as my inspirations. The combination of finishes creates a modern environment with just the right rustic touches to provide a warm and inviting ambiance. The restaurant has an open floor plan which consists of multiple split levels creating dynamic focal points.

The design caters to an upscale restaurant with  a menu that will focus mainly on European/Mediterranean, market fresh, seasonal produce served in an equally light and unpretentious manner.

Above: Main Floor Plan

Above: Mezzanine Level

Above: Rendered view of  Main dining area

Above: Rendered view of Mezzanine area

Above: Maquette Axonometric view

Below you can see a collection of images which inspired my restaurant design. The colours, materials and innovative furniture designs in juxtaposition to the old and new, is where I drew my main inspiration.

Above: Dogmatic, Gourmet Sausage System, New York City- inspiration for restaurant bar.

Above: Wire-frame axonometric view of the restaurant bar which can be seen on the mezzanine level.

Above: Neoline Chandelier by Boa Design

It is in my opinion that a design should encompass not only the architectural structure and finishes but also the fine details.  I have chosen a selection of modern dishware consisting of Modern Floating Glassware, Ceramics, Goa Flatware by Cutipol

RESTAURANT: Natural Kitchen- Market Place

For this semesters project we are paired up and  free to do a design of our choosing. I know group work can be painful for some people but fortunately my partner and I share a similar wave length and already enjoy working together. The fact that we enjoy doing this blog together is also a good sign. We are still in the R&D phase but what we both agree on is that we want to fill a need and all signs are pointing towards a center that promotes healthy living.  That being said our first mission is to define a general concept of healthy living and how it can be integrated into the community.

With a little bit of brainstorming and our own personal preferences we have come up with some principal ideas.

1. Integrate a farmers market to encourage the purchase of local and seasonal produce. We are both market lovers and have enjoyed the benefits of Jean Talon market in Montreal, Byward Market in Ottawa and Granville Island Market in Vancouver.

2. Mindfulness Center. I have been fortunate enough to travel east and experience other cultures ways of living which emphasize the importance of nourishing the body as well as the mind. In the last few decades we have been exposed to the positions of yoga’s physical practice and but it hasn’t been until recently that there is a development of consciousness towards the mindfulness practices.  We are striving to create a center which offers multifunctional spaces where educational as well as physical practices can be pursued for a variety of age groups.  It is in our opinion that western culture is conducive to a more individualistic lifestyle and we would like to revert back to a community oriented mindset.

We would love to hear your feed back on what you consider the key aspects to living a healthy lifestyle and what programs a community center could offer to help you achieve that?

For today’s post I came across this boutique style restaurant/cafe/market on Remodelista. The design concept encompasses some of  the main elements we wish to offer in our center.  Located in Marylebone the Natural Kitchen offers fresh produce and meal items alongside a cafe. So you can enjoy a tea break and pick up a few dinner items. Go to The Natural Kitchen for more information.

As seen in the Capital Kitchen design Natural Kitchen uses similar finishes to create a warm and inviting ambiance.

An eclectic use of vintage style wood chairs alongside Parisian style tables with painted white bases and walnut finish tops creates a warm environment. The warm colour palette compliments the natural arrangements of indigenous grasses and flowers.

I especially love the crate boxes and wine barrels displaying the produce.

The pendant lights provide an industrial element into the mix. Similar style pendants can be found at Barn Light Electric.

RESTAURANTS: Capital Kitchen in Australia

Now that I am falling back into the hang of things and the summer school semester is in full swing I will have to say goodbye to the slow pace of my short lived vacation.  Not to say the vacation wasn’t fully enjoyed, I did get a few opportunities to pamper myself. Saving the best for last I spent an entire day at the Nordic Spa sun bathing, fortunately it was the nicest day we’ve had yet. Considering that I spend the majority of my time in front of a computer or hunched over a desk, I felt a massage was needed and well deserved. So I through one of those into the mix.  There was also plenty of Family time which was extra special with the new addition to the household, a canoe! I got to enjoy some sunny days out on the water reading while my brother and dad paddled me around! I was living the life.  But aside from all that I have missed my daily dose of design so with a new semester comes a new project and lots of research.  With that in mind I hope you all enjoy the new finds!

To start the ball rolling we have this Cafe/Restaurant style design located on the outskirts of Melbourne, Capital Kitchens design combines rustic and industrial elements with a few modern touches throughout to produce a functional, warm and inviting atmosphere. Designed by Australia-based Mim Design (“We were going for a modern country farmhouse feel,” the designers say), the interiors feature rustic timber floors, exposed brick walls, and sleek modern Carrara counters. For more information, go to Capital Kitchen.

Above: The cafe includes an open concept dining area. The main dining chairs add the industrial element finished in white to compliment the farmhouse look. Marais a chair designed by Xavier Pauchard for Tolix available at design within reach

Above: A mix of modern housewares is on offer. I find this style of boutique cafe is becoming very popular and for good reason. It’s fun to browse kitchenware amongst the aromas of coffee beans and  food.

Above: This has to be my favourite shot. The combination of light and darker woods separated by a sleek Carrara marble counter, is stunning. The white Caravaggio Pendants (available from Y Lighting) provide a simple clean and modern ceiling ornamentation.

Above: A modern farmhouse sink adds a domestic feel and is complimented by the upholstered armchairs providing additional comfortable seating.

Above: Long tables on wheels provide a multifunctional space, offering a multitude of space and seating arrangements.  The movable tables are complimented with Tolix stools. Marais Counter Stool designed by Xavier Pauchard for Tolix available at design within reach. The beam ceiling design plays on a modern coffered ceiling style and adds that extra element of design to the cafes structure.

Above L: The shop signage is painted directly on the exterior brick. Above R: Corner seating with folding windows.  What impresses me the most is the combination of materials that work so well together. The aged brick, marble, light and dark woods with painted as well as unfinished steel together achieve achieve a warm and aesthetically beautiful environment. This design encourages me to not be afraid of trying different finish combinations.

Via Remodelista

MY WORKS: willow’s a first in restaurant design

It has been two weeks of insanity and I appreciate your patience. I’m happy to say I’m back and that although the work load during finals was exhausting the payoff was definitely worth it.  When you are in the midst of it, it feels like you might never finish and to be honest the closer you come to the finish line the harder it is to push forward. Just remember that as soon as you do cross it, there’s nothing like that victory lap, knowing that you are fully capable of accomplishing that degree of work.  So for all of you out there continuously challenging yourselves to push forward and achieve more don’t forget to be proud of all that you have accomplished.

As I mentioned in the Cram time post I will be showcasing my final restaurant design and I have offered the opportunity to other students at my school to show off their work.   So hopefully they will take me up on my offer after our week off.  To start off the expose I am proud to present to you “willow’s”.

A restaurant design that encompasses 3 fundamental elements;

Starting with the first element of Functionality and Comfort for both the clients as well as employees.

Achieved through;

1) Circulation & Spacing

2) Furnishing

Having an alternative entrance and exit for staff as well as loading supplies and garbage removal increases efficiency of performing restaurant tasks while prioritizing the main entrance for patrons only. Your first impression entering the restaurant is derived from the long corridor forming the bar.  The bar sits 10 people comfortably with a full wall shelving unit along the adjacent wall. When entering the restaurant you’re first greeted by the hostess who can either show you to your table or  if none are available provide you with a drink and space to rest it comfortably along the  shelving unit.  Proceeding into the main dining room to your left are tables of two with their own intimate area, followed by a stationary custom built banquette, separating the tables of four. The tables of four can be rearranged for larger group seatings as well as handicap accessibility.

The main dining room has two principle openings, the first allowing access to the washrooms. Starting with the mens, followed by the women’s and at the end of the hall the adapted washroom with larger spacing.

The second principle opening is dual functional, acting as an emergency exit hallway as well as entrance and exit to the kitchen.  Having a hallway for the entrance and exit to the kitchen negates the need for kitchen doors allowing easy access and exit when serving.  Once in the kitchen to left for functionality purposes we have the dishwashing area and to the right a service station where employees can perform restaurant tasks such as rolling cutlery. Proceeding along the main path of circulation we then have the expediting area for servers to easily pick up their orders.  The office/locker room and staff washroom sits at the end of the main path of circulation intersecting with the staff entrance and exit.  Avoiding the necessity of walking through the entire kitchen when first arriving at work.  Continuing down the staff entrance and exit path, to the left we have the dry storage followed by the garbage room, refrigerator and freezer area running along the exterior wall for easy removal as well as loading of supplies.

At the end of the kitchen exit and entrance hall we have an emergency stairwell that can be utilized for service to the mezzanine dining area prioritizing the staircase at the end of the main dining room solely for patron use.

Once reaching the mezzanine area the circulation is vast occupied by tables of four which can be rearranged for larger group seatings as well as events.  At the end of the dining area recessed into a floating wall is a service station spanning the entire length.  The station sits at 3 ft. with an above section reserved for open and closed shelving showcasing wine.  Similar to the open and closed display design from Merus Winery shown below

The second aspect of the first element integrates the aesthetics of furnishings with the functionality of comfort.

The main dining chair is inspired by the Wishbone Chair above but upholstered with a similar fabric shown in the image below to achieve a higher level of comfort.

You can also see the upholstered dining chair in the rendered image below of the dining room looking towards the entrance and bar.

The same was done for the Natur stool using a light beige fabric as shown in the rendered images below.

The stationary custom built banquette shown below was inspired by another Uxus design this one being from Restaurant Ella Dining Room & Bar Design.

I used a laminated bamboo plywood to mimic the solid wood appearance and a similar tone grey fabric to upholster the banquette seating.  I was able to achieve a beautiful natural appearance with a lower banquette in order to maintain a clear view across the main dining room.

The Second Element

Inspired by an iconic architect Mies Van Der Rohe among others, I wished to achieve that feeling of a barrier free environment.  Van Der Rohe is famous for using a single material streaming from indoors to outdoors with minimal division creating that essense.

Above the Barcelona Pavilion Designed by Mies Van Der Rohe for the 1929 International Exposition

As you can see from this rendered axonometric view I have utilized similar techiniques to that of my predecessors to achieve a sheltered outdoor environment.  First I have extended the horizontal lines by using the concrete tiles to create a terrace. Concrete tiles- a durable choice of material for our environment.  Second I have extended the vertical lines to create a minimalist transparent division.  The reason behind the group of 3 smaller rectangle windows at the top is to produce better air circulation allowing hot air to rise and escape.

The 2nd aspect to the Second Element is the willow tree integrated into a storm theme. Starting with the Storm;

I thought it was fitting to locate the drama/turbulence of a storm into the bar area. I was inspired by the Jing Restaurant design in Singapore shown below

I wanted to create this sculptural ceiling structure to mimic the essence of rolling thunder.  In order to do so I need to create a long linear channel to achieve the full effect.

As you can see from this wire-frame axonometric view I have extended the rolling thunder to commence outdoors and run through the entire bar corridor in a linear mode. Also shown in a rendered version below.

There has always been something so majestic about the calm after a storm and I wanted the main dining area to reflect that feeling. This is also where the willow tree came into play. If you have ever witnessed a willow tree after a storm, it’s branches rest so still while the water beneath lays flat and calm.

The willow tree became the main focal point engraved into the far wall, scaling the stair well with a shallow pool of water beneath. I was originally inspired by the engravings from Gjeline Restaurant design shown below.

as well as this sketch of a willow tree

As you can see in the rendered image shown below the stair rail is held by a minimal transparent floor to ceiling glass that encloses the recessed pool of water so that it appears flush to the main floor.

After the calm comes the clearing, giving way to a starry night’s sky.  This was to be achieved on the mezzanine level where the vast spacing of the table arrangements allowed for a busy ceiling plan.  I was inspired by the cylindrical luminaire’s from Char NO. 4 Design and clustered them in a similar fashion above the mezzanine dining area.

I was able to find a similar pendant produced by Tech Lighting and supplied through a Montreal and Ottawa Location Arevco.

All the elements in my restaurant conception work simultaneously together to create the end result.  That being said the preliminary stages of my design required a lot of trial and error. I would like to say that the layout came to me naturally but that would be a blaiten lie.  Each area was meticulously reworked to compliment each other and integrate design elements.

Starting with the main floor I created the corridor to highlight the linear sculptural ceiling creating the illusion of movement/ forward pull. The bar corridor deliberately ends with the beginning of a perfect symmetrical rectangle forming the main dining area.  To integrate the existing columns I aligned them with the middle beam of the banquette. The end of the stationary banquette marks the beginning of the wine cellar and the four top tables align with the second window division.  The green outline marks the mezzanine level which forms the second rectangle.

In order to maintain the symmetry on the mezzanine level I recessed the service station and display case into the floating wall that sits above the suspended ceiling  structure below.

The sourcing for this project required a little extra effort to not only create an environment designed around nature but also to be ecologically conscious of the resources which were to be used. Fortunately there are numerous firms in the Montreal area with similar mindsets that were willing to share their expertise and material supplier contacts. That being said the materials used in the construction of willow’s have all been considered because of their high environmental standards.

So there you have it my first restaurant design hope you like it!