A restaurant project begins,  first and foremost, with the planning of a kitchen that supports a dining room. For this particular restaurant, which seats approximately 100 people and boasts a complex menu, there was a large amount of equipment and support space (back of house space) required to support the actual dining areas (front of house areas). In addition, the required mechanical and plumbing had to be inserted discretely into the class 1 historic El Paseo building from 1926.

The constraints set by the Historic Site Preservation Board, coupled with stringent environmental and seismic codes in the State of California made the cost of structural and mechanical systems become almost untenable. Additionally, the ambitious interior design for the adaptive re-use of this historic building, utilized site cast concrete interventions at heights and thicknesses that had never been attempted before in a restaurant.

Thus, the technical aspects of the design for both, the front and back of the house portions of this project, proved to be a formidable challenge for Sguera Architecture PLLC, with regards to the budget and construction schedule for this tenant improvement plan.

This blog series will take you through Workshop Kitchen + Bar’s entire project development and look specifically at how the architects added value to the project by deftly marrying the front and back of house programmatic requirements into a dynamic ensemble through the use of an early form of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Typically value engineering happens somewhere around the bidding phase in a conventionally delivery project. On this project, we were working with the entire team on the cost and buildability of the project from schematic design onwards. This ultimately allowed the owner’s to save roughly 40% on the construction costs and open on time.

The remainder of the blog series will delve into the three major elements of the project: Air, Water & Concrete:

  • Part 2 – Water [sewer lateral connection to the street with a backflow preventer and grease interceptor]
  • Part 3 – Air – Air [exhaust air systems rated for fire, including makeup air and Ansul systems for fire prevention]

PART 1 – Concrete [poured in place double height concrete booths, concrete floors, concrete bar, concrete stairs, concrete ramp]