BANQ restaurant by Office dA

published in: Restaurants/Bars By Guest, 17 February 2009

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photo © John Horner

photo © John Horner

Guest Contribution by Pascal Panagiotidis

Wallpaper magazine voted it as the best new restaurant. Banq restaurant is located at the base of the old Penny Savings Bank, in an early 20th century building abandoned for years in Boston. After the building's reconstruction two segments emerged, the front area programmed to be a bar and the larger hall which would serve as the dining area. Office dA managed to overlap any structural problems and create a fancy restaurant out from an abandoned place. Find out how inspiration can help a project find its place in the world's best restaurants list.

photo © John Horner

BANQ restaurant/ 1375 Washington Street, Boston, MA / 2006-2008
Project Size / 4,800 square feet
Client / SOWA Restaurant Group, LLC
Architect / Office dA, Inc.
Project Design / Nader Tehrani, Monica Ponce de Leon
Principal in Charge / Nader Tehrani
Project Architect / Dan Gallagher
Project Coordinators / Catie Newell, Brandon Clifford
Project Team / Harry Lowd, Richard Lee, Lisa Huang, Remon Alberts, Janghwan Cheon, Jumanah Jamal, Aishah Al Sager
Contractor / Homeland Builders
Structural Consulting Engineer / Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
MEP Consulting Engineer/ Wozny/Barbar & Associates, Inc.
Lighting Consultant / Collaborative Lighting
Acoustical Consultant / Acentech
Kitchen Consultant / TriMark USA, Inc.
Building Code Consultant / Hal Cutler
Photographer / John Horner

photo © John Horner

text by Office dA Architects :
Located in the old Penny Savings Bank, Banq is a new restaurant located at the base of the old banking hall. Divided into two segments, the front area on Washington Street is programmed as a bar, while the larger hall behind serves as the dining area. The design of the space, however, is conceptualized around another division, on the z axis, between the ceiling and the ground. If the ground needs to remain flexible as a result of fluctuating activities of the restaurant space-- two seaters, fours, and sixes, among a range of other organizations related to parties and other events-- then, the ceiling contains fixed programs that are part of the building's infrastructure-- the structure, drainage, mechanical equipment, sprinkler system, lighting, and other the acoustic systems. To that end, we have developed a striated wood-slatted system that conceals the view of the mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems on the longitudinal axis, while offering a virtual canopy under which to dine. The geometry of the wood slats conform to each equipment above, but are also radiused in order to smoothen the relationship between other adjoining equipment, creating a seamless landscape. The columns and the wine storage, in the middle of the hall, serve to uphold the fiction, and appear to be suspended from the ceiling. if the longitudinal axis emphasizes the seamless surface, then lateral views offer striated glimpses into the service space above, and demystify the illusion. To underline this strategy, certain areas of the ceiling "drip" and "slump", acknowledging the location of to place exit signs, lighting features, and other details. Below the ceiling, the functional aspects of a dining space are fabricated with warm woods and relaminated bamboo amplifying the striping affect already at play throughout the space. Striations of the ground, the furnishings, and the ceiling all conspire to create a total effect, embedding the diners into the grain of the restaurant.
Acknowledging the historical setting of the building, the ceiling hovers away from all interior walls and instead finds its support in suspension from above. Nearly running the entire width of the space, each rib of the undulated ceiling is made from unique pieces of three-quarter-inch birch plywood adhered together in a scenario that likens to a puzzle; only one possible location for each unit, formulating the continuous member. These continuous members are fastened to the main structural ribs running perpendicular to the lattice, tracing both the overall ceiling topography and the steel supports of the base building. Spacing between the visible ceiling ribs is variable; compressing and releasing to maintain visual densities of the overall surface as seen from different angles.

photo © John Horner

photo © John Horner

photo © John Horner

exploded perspective by Office dA Architects

The bathrooms are designed around the fixtures and their equipment: toilets, sinks, toilet paper, among other features are all ovals. Drawing from this coincidence, the spaces are covered by monumental oval shells, lit from behind, and are further embellishes with other oval features, bringing thematic closure to the space. Oval mirrors, reflect the spaces with ocular precision, while to occuli connect the men's and women's bathroom. These occuli frame the view of opposing domes, but reveal nothing of each others interiors beyond; instead, the occuli function as auricular links between the two spaces.

photo © John Horner


The 8  photos that are published at YATZER-DESIGNISTOSHARE concerning the BANQ project of office dA are copyrighted by John Horner Photography
Mr. John Horner gives permission to YATZER-DESIGNISTOSHARE for using  the photos for the publication on its site

it is prohibited:

TO REPRODUCE the work in copies (print, lithography print, engraving, picture and any other way to reproduce)
TO DIFFUSE, that is, to give circulation to the images through television, satellite, internet, press and any other kind of publication.
TO DISTRIBUTE to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by lending the material or its copies.
TO ALTER, or rather, to modify the material.

without first asking Mr. John Horner and Office dA, Inc.


Office dA Inc. , John Horner

  • friend
    M2JL :: STUDIO | 2009-02-20 10:31:21

    Awesome. It take some serious skills to be able to install a ceiling like this. Very inspiring!

  • friend
    ncr form | 2010-03-03 00:01:05

    Amazing wood work, i loved it......!

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