Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 10/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Restoration Hardware's polished-nickel pendant fixtures; photo by Art Gray.
The Lab Gastropub on the University of Southern California campus represents big news for two Los Angeles institutions. One is USC itself, which is moving away from cafeteria-style dining halls, toward venues that look like they belong in the private sector. The other is AC Martin, a 103-year-old architecture firm with a nascent interiors division that's now completed three food-service commissions from the university.
Slate-topped teak communal tables and teak benches, all custom byLily Jack. Chemistry formulas on a blackboard set into beveled subway tile from theTileshop. Photos by Art Gray.
Attracting students, professors, and downtown residents alike, the "laboratory" theme was conceived by Christopher King, director of interior architecture, with Joanne Camacho, senior graphic designer, and it informs every bit of the 2,200-square-foot interior. Remember blackboards from Biology 101? Here, slate tops the five communal tables. How about the chemistry formulas memorized during midnight cram sessions? The one for caffeine has a special place, inside the rims of coffee cups. King hit local shops for test tubes, beakers, and science books, used as accessories. And a black-and-white image of an old-fashioned microscope, enlarged to 10 feet high, is printed on wall covering. Take a closer look.