| 16 : 30 – 01 June 2018 |
Evoking the exotic spirit of the original Asian-inspired restaurant, Seattle based SkB Architects design a new restaurant for Wild Ginger.
Wild Ginger restaurant located across Lake Washington in Seattle is a mix of cultural experiences and contemporary design. This new and well established gastronomical venue was designed by SkB architects for guests seeking intimate experience and to cater increased interest in happy hour cuisine. To showcase the spirit and vibrancy of the city, the architects put up a eclectic bar and lounge area towards the entrance space. The restaurant also has huge glass front which opens up to the street drawing attention to the decor, food and dining experience.
Glass front restaurant
From the Architects –
SkB Architects, a Seattle-based design firm with a reputation for creating meaningful, sensory-rich environments, announce the design debut of Wild Ginger at Lincoln Square in Bellevue, Washington. Conceived over twenty years ago as an homage to the foods and cultures of Southeast Asia, Wild Ginger was ready for an update.
Copper tube cladding
The challenge was how to transform the successful concept pioneered in the original, large-format restaurant and evolve it to meet the needs of current dining trends—both for those seeking a more intimate experience as well as satisfying the increased interest in happy hour culture. Rekindling the spirit of exoticism that inspired the original restaurant, the redesign (which includes a visual rebrand by Hornall Anderson) digs deep into the roots of the cultures that inspired it. The result is a stylistic blend that merges cultural influences with contemporary design to create a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere in which to celebrate food and friends.
Seating at the bar
“Understanding our client’s history was essential,” notes Kyle Gaffney, principal and co-founder of SkB Architects. “In order to know how to move forward, we had to know the past. We weren’t interested in creating a thematic experience. Our goal was to create something new—an authentic experience all its own.”
Design solution –
Occupying a deep, narrow 6,000-square-foot space, the challenge for the designers was finding a way to draw people to the back of the restaurant while ensuring that the entire venue provides a unique experience. The design solution is two-fold: showcase the activity inside by pulling the lounge/bar to the front of the restaurant, open up the interior to the sidewalk through a window wall spanning the front facade— pulls people in and lets energy spill out—and create a dining experience where every seat is special.
Large glass front along the sidewalk
“We wanted to reflect the life and vibrancy of the city…to bring the outside in and inside out,” says Gaffney. The transformative experience begins as guests pass through a teak-shuttered vestibule.
Once inside, they are presented with a luminescent bar and lounge with dining spaces beyond. The lounge features comfortable seating arrangements composed of both leather-wrapped bench seating and rattan easy chairs.
Wicker pendant lighting in the bar
The bar –
The bar appears to be set into a curved niche, seemingly carved out of a large volume of natural plaster. The interior of the niche is finished with silver leaf squares, creating a luxurious, subtly reflective backdrop.
Reflective curved niche across the bar
The bar top is made of polished teak, while the bar front features a geometrically-inspired tile motif. Custom- designed lights recall traditional woven fishing baskets.
Teak wood counter top
Restaurant Interior –
Moving into the restaurant, slatted teak screens separate cozy booths that line both sides of the dining area. A single row of tables through the center of the space can be arranged to accommodate small groups or aligned to make one long table for a single group.
Polished concrete floors are accented with abstracted oriental area rugs. Lantern-like lights, teak wood coffering, and woven light shades form a subtle nod to Southeast Asia. Large murals inspired by aged oriental carpets are painted directly onto the existing concrete walls, providing a soft, elegant backdrop in the dining areas. A pavilion-like area at the rear of the restaurant completes the dining area, serving to draw guests into the space.
Lantern-like lights and partition screens
Custom, sliding wood screens enable the space to morph, transforming the pavilion seating into a private, group dining venue. Windows located behind the pavilion are treated to admit daylight while blocking views to the adjacent auto court, ensuring that the focus is on the food and one’s dining companions.
Single row tables occupy central space
Wild ginger restaurant and Kitchen –
Changing to meet customer needs throughout the day, Wild Ginger is as much a place to meet with co-workers over a working lunch, as it is to enjoy bespoke cocktails after work, or relax with friends and family over dinner. In addition to Wild Ginger at Lincoln Square, SkB Architects developed Wild Ginger Kitchen. It’s a limited menu, to-go concept restaurant focusing on fresh, healthy, Asian-inspired food.
Taking its design cue from the newly rekindled Wild Ginger signature restaurant, Wild Ginger Kitchen serves as a modern update to the tiffin lunch, a traditional South Asian meal served in a stacked, easily transportable lunch pail.
Project details –
Project Name – Wild Ginger restaurant
Architect Firm – SkB Architects | http://www.skbarchitects.com/
Project Location – Lincoln Square South, 508 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, Washington, USA
General contractor – GLY Construction, Inc.
Photography Credit – © Jeremy Bittermann Photography
Bar top, Wooden screens, Vestibule doors – Teak
Column cladding(bar) – Copper tubing – produced by San Juan Ventures
Bar chairs – Moroso
Wicker pendants – Designed by SkB, interior pendant by Marset, produced by San Juan Ventures
Booth pendants – SkB Architects
Mural – SkB’s in-house muralist
Wire ceiling baskets – SkB Architects
Bench – Forms by OOKKUU
Accent table – Marilyn by Crate & Barrel
Crown chair – Laval