Friday, September 26, 2014

Design Inspiration and Dedication

ai3's studio finds design inspiration in many places and in many things.  

When a Chef or Owner has a specific concept for their restaurant, we dig deep into the meaning and history of the concept, searching for something unique. We want the story to unfold through design, not through literal references, but in interesting ways that spark conversation.

One of our upcoming restaurants is inspired by the Basque Country.  San Sebastian is filled with stunning, visual inspiration, but our research uncovered a tradition that goes back centuries. Basque cider making, in days gone by, occurred on pretty much every farmstead. Each had its own apple press and produced cider for the immediate consumption of family, friends and neighbors.

In each Cider House, there is a person in charge of opening the huge wooden barrels for diners. An orderly queue line follows beside the barrel, and diners catch the cider in a tumbler glass as it pours out in a thin jet.

To honor this tradition, the design team created a feature wall reminiscent of the cider barrels with aged wood and steel straps.  Last night, our beloved and truly dedicated, Kellen Minor, worked late into the night staining wood with Dave Peter of Derucki Construction. Sometimes the budget doesn't afford your vision, so you pick up your paint brush to ensure your story can be told.  Not ideal, but a dedicated team, nonetheless.  

PROCESS: Kellen and Dave working on the wood wall

Inspiration: Basque Cider House barrels

First Layer of Cider Barrel-Inspired Wall

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