Best of Year 2009 Winner: Aidlin Darling Design
Best of Year -- Interior Design, 12/1/2009 12:00:00 AM
Best of Year Winner, Casual Dining: Aidlin Darling Design: Wexler's, San Francisco, CA
Since 1914, a one-story building in the financial district has been nothing but a neoclassical brick facade—one that now stands in front of a 1980's mid-rise. The ground level of this architectural mixed-breed houses a hybrid of the culinary sort: an urbane barbecue joint named Wexler's, designed by Joshua Aidlin and David Darling. Like a deconstructed curl of smoke, a canopy of gray-painted laser-cut MDF fins begins outside, then extends straight back through the 600-square-foot dining room, as blood-red painted chandeliers hang on either side. The rest of the interior is relatively subdued. Flooring, the bar, and tabletops are rift-sawn oak, while steel chairs and stools add a soupçon of the Paris bistro. A black-and-white photograph of a beech tree anchors the rear wall. Running across a sidewall is a long, Donald Judd—esque box filled with angled mirrors. If you look carefully, you might catch a reflection of barbecue sauce dripping down a fellow diner's chin.
ROSLYN COLE; ADRIENNE SWIATOCHA; SHANE CURNYN: PROJECT TEAM.
Best of Year Merit Awards, Casual Dining
Design Spirits Co. Ltd.: Beijing Noodle No. 9, Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
Six aquariums, each filled with 350 goldfish, complement the flower shapes laser-cut from the ceiling and wall panels and backlit by LEDs.
GLAMOROUS co., ltd.: Nakaza Cuidaore Bld., Osaka, Japan
The red, white, and blue of barbershop poles and a rope canopy pay playful homage to the clown costume worn by Osaka's mascot, Cuidaore Taro.
Ippolito Fleitz Group - Identity Architects: WakuWaku Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Violet lacquer, tiles large and small, stainless steel, and an array of flea-market dining chairs set the stage for the first German branch of this Japanese health-food chain.