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    Mexico City restaurant by RA! arranged around upside-down pyramid bar

    A bar counter shaped like an inverted ziggurat sits at the centre of this restaurant in Mexico City, designed by local architecture studio RA!

    Tana is a tapas spot located in the city’s wealthy Polanco neighbourhood, within a compact and intimate space facing Parque Lincoln.
    The Tana restaurant is organized around a central concrete barRA! gutted the 65-square-metre unit to make way for its cave-like concept, achieved by applying textured plaster and concrete across the four-metre-high walls.
    “The intervention began by demolishing the superimposed finishes of the old premises, in order to discover the structure and the materials that originally constituted the space,” said RA! co-founder Pedro Ramírez de Aguilar.
    The bar’s inverted ziggurat form features cove lighting along its tiered sides”The balance of the sounds, colours, textures and tones of the space creates a cave atmosphere that shelters those who inhabit it,” he contined.

    The main dining area is organised around a central bar counter, which has a stepped form reminiscent of an ancient pyramid – similar to those located at the Aztec archeological site of Teotihuacan just outside of the city.
    Cove lighting also illuminates the plaster and concrete walls and floors around the restaurant’s perimeterRough concrete also wraps the bar’s tiered sides, under which cove lighting is installed to illuminate each layer.
    “The bar questions the traditional linear organization of bars to create a square distribution that allows greater coexistence between users and the mixologist,” Ramírez de Aguilar said.
    Slender-framed metal stools provide seating for dinersFurther cove lighting encircles the room just above floor level, and about two-thirds of the way up the walls, as well as beneath the narrow drink shelves.
    Behind the bar, a copper lighting fixture comprises two concentric circles, with a soft glow emanating from behind the small, front disk.
    Cylindrical concrete pendants lamps hang above the dining areaThe copper fixture was mounted on a floor-to-ceiling shelving system built from thin metal pipes, which displays liquor bottles and holds hanging plants at the top.
    “The plate made in Michoacán, Mexico, is positioned on a large formation of rods that go from the support cabinet to the ceiling, generating a series of shelves on which the bottles and other service elements are positioned,” said Ramírez de Aguilar.

    Sofía Betancur references nearby church for Pizzeria Della Madonna

    Tall, slender-framed stools surround the bar, and provide additional seating along either side of the space.
    Above hang cylindrical concrete pendant lamps with steel caps, which direct the light downwards as a series of spots.
    RA! designed the restaurant to look and feel like a caveBehind the shelving unit is a small, omakase-style dining area that offers guests a direct view of the kitchen.
    The restaurant opens fully to the street, where more tables are placed on a covered patio surrounded by plants.
    Tana also has a covered outdoor patio surrounded by plantsRA! was founded in 2017 by Ramírez de Aguilar along with Cristóbal Ramírez de Aguilar and Santiago Sierra in Mexico City, where the dining scene is booming and many creative minds are helping to shape interiors for its chefs.
    Along with Tana, new spots include Pizzeria della Madonna in Roma Norte, which designer Sofia Betancur modelled on a neighbouring church, and Ling Ling, an Asian fusion restaurant on the 56th floor of the Chapultepec Uno skyscraper.
    The photography is by Ariadna Polo.

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    Humbert & Poyet sets up Beefbar restaurant inside 16th-century Milanese chapel

    Interior design duo Humbert & Poyet has delivered an opulent setting for the Milan outpost of high-end steakhouse Beefbar, taking over the former chapel of a 500-year-old seminary on Corso Venezia.

    The studio drew on the architecture of the historic building with its dramatic vaulted nave – recently restored as part of a seven-year renovation project led by architect Michele De Lucchi – while introducing elements of Milanese modernism.
    Beefbar Milano is set inside a converted chapel”We were inspired by the major figures of the Milanese style of the 1940s and 1960s and the timeless sophistication and modernism that their designs gave rise to,” said Humbert & Poyet.
    “We wanted guests to feel transported to a place that invokes the past, present and future, and experience the inimitable sensuality and relaxed nature of the Italian spirit.”
    Humbert & Poyet introduced dining chairs by Vico MagistrettiAs the restaurant is located in a historical site, Humbert & Poyet’s wanted to honour Milanese craftsmanship, using locally-produced materials including marble, terrazzo flooring and woodwork, all sourced from Milan and nearby Bergamo.

    “This also meant that we were able to reduce our carbon footprint by cutting down transportation distances, while also being able to showcase the beauty of the raw materials native to the region, as well as the intricate work of Italian artisans living in Milan,” the studio said.
    Dark red zellige tiles provide a subtle splash of colourPrimarily, the duo sought to balance the high vaulted ceilings of the former chapel with the comparatively small footprint of the space while finding a way to integrate the kitchen into the restaurant.
    “The decision to have the restaurant, bar and kitchen open onto one another was driven by our desire to create an environment where guests could truly savour moments of conviviality,” the studio said.
    “We also consciously aimed to preserve and showcase the inherent beauty of the original space, avoiding any partitioning that could potentially detract from its aesthetic while we decided to create a pavilion structure under the vault, which the kitchen could be placed beneath.”

    Beefbar steakhouse in Paris occupies an art-nouveau atrium

    Key to this fusing of the three main spaces is the terrazzo floor, which unites the restaurant, bar and kitchen.
    Its stylised wave pattern pays tribute to Italian architect Luigi Caccia Dominioni, who left “an indelible mark on post-war Italian design and Milanese modernism”, according to Humbert & Poyet.
    “His versatile approach to architecture and design allowed him to harmoniously blend historical and traditional elements with the modern urban environment,” the studio said. “This is precisely the essence we sought to capture in our design for the Beefbar Milan.”
    Benches are upholstered in opulent green velvetThe colours found within the terrazzo informed the palette of the whole space.
    Shades of green, black, white and burgundy repeat throughout the bar and restaurant, found across curving green couches, hand-made burgundy tiles and in the onyx marble that lines the meat display cases.
    “Our selection of colours is intricately tied to the terrazzo, which creates a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing environment that enhances the overall dining experience,” the studio said.
    Fluted walnut panelling nods to Milanese cafesJuxtaposing with the austere finish of the lofty vaulted ceiling, the lower section of the room is enveloped in fluted walnut panelling, which Humbert & Poyet chose as a nod to the “aesthetic codes of Milanese cafes”.
    Dark red zellige tiles add a touch of colour to the space while tactile velvet features on the green upholstered banquettes, providing a counterpoint to the hard surfaces.
    Positioned below Humbert & Poyet’s Asterios lights, tables topped with deep green Verdi Apli marble bring a sense of “refinement and sophistication” to the space, the studio said.
    The chapel’s dramatic vaulted nave remains a core feature of the space”The marble tables are a perfect complement to the sumptuous velvet seating benches, and the marble’s organic qualities create a sense of dynamism when paired with the Carimate dining chairs by the Italian designer Vico Magistretti,” said Humbert & Poyet.
    Beefbar Milano has been shortlisted in the restaurant and bar interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Also in the running is a restaurant in a former mechanic’s workshop in Guadalajara and David Thulstrup’s interior for Ikoyi in London, which features copper walls and a curved metal-mesh ceiling.
    The photography is by Francis Amiand.

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    Restored historic paintings cover walls of converted Frescohallen restaurant

    Swedish studio Claesson Koivisto Rune has converted a listed room in Norway into a restaurant, adding an angular mirrored bar and restoring the building’s historical frescoes.

    Designed to highlight the history of the building, Frescohallen restaurant was added to the former Norwegian Stock Exchange in Bergen, replacing a rundown food hall that previously occupied the space.
    Claesson Koivisto Rune has created the Frescohallen restaurantBuilt in 1862, the space features walls coated in large historic paintings that had become dirty and damaged.
    “The space hosted a dreadful and rundown kind of food court,” Claesson Koivisto Rune co-founder Eero Koivisto told Dezeen. “The frescoes were quite dirty and not looked after since decades.”
    It occupies a listed room in NorwayThe studio aimed to complete a sensitive renovation of the space, keeping the existing artworks at the centre of the room and restoring them to their original quality.

    “The ten giant frescoes describe the daily life and businesses of Norway at the time, and were completed in 1923 by the Norwegian artist Axel Revold,” said Koivisto. “The artworks are now restored and lit with state-of-the-art lighting.”
    The studio added a mirrored barAs well as showcasing the original artworks, the studio preserved the existing features of the room, including a rhythmic arrangement of olive green columns that extend through the space and branch into a groin-vaulted ceiling, which is decorated with red, green, and gold paintwork.
    The renovation involved a range of minimal changes, including the removal of modern elements that had been added to the facades and the addition of new signs and flooring.
    The building’s historical frescoes were restored”New interventions were required to touch lightly and be reversible,” the studio explained. “Apart from removing some later additions to the facades, the most significant addition was new lighting and signage.”
    Inside, the addition of a bar area marks the largest change to the space. Located at the centre of the room, the bar is finished with a mirrored coating designed to provide guests with wide views of the restaurant.
    A mezzanine-level dining area sits on top of the mirrored bar”Using mirrors allowed for the possibility to let all guests view the famous frescoes and the magnificent space,” said Koivisto.
    A mezzanine-level dining area features on top of the mirrored bar, acting as an elevated viewing area that offers a closer view of the surrounding artworks.
    Arched windows illuminate the dining areasAround the central bar, the studio divided the restaurant into a series of dining spaces separated by granite steps and changes in flooring.
    The spaces include dining areas dramatically lit by large, arched windows, as well as more private areas that have been recessed into nooks bordered on multiple sides by large paintings.
    A spotty carpet lines one dining areaStretching through one dining area is a large carpet, which is decorated with a pattern of large dots and was designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune to reflect the colours in the surrounding paintings.
    “The large dot pattern on the carpeting is inspired by coins – a nod to the building’s previous life,” the studio explained. “All the dots, in various blue hues, reference the frescoes. In fact, all colours introduced, including the furnishings, are referenced from the frescoes.”

    Note Design Studio creates “unexpected” restaurant in historic Stockholm food hall

    The studio also designed a series of furniture for the space, including blue wooden chairs and ring-shaped, fabric-coated benches that wrap around the columns.
    To improve the acoustics in the restaurant, the studio added a strip of sound-absorbing panels at eye level. Nestled just below the paintings, the material is hidden by a continuous, dark-coloured curtain.
    Original olive green columns have been retained”In order to alter the original ‘cathedral-like’ character of the space and create an ambience suitable for a restaurant and bar, modern sound-absorbing material hidden behind a new, continuous curtain running along all the walls have been installed, with upholstered sofas directly beneath,” the studio explained.
    “Custom-designed, wall-to-wall carpeting also adds to the gentle ambience and improves the acoustics.”
    The mirrored bar was designed to provide guests with wide views of the restaurantFounded in 1995 by Koivisto with Mårten Claesson and Ola Rune, Claesson Koivisto Rune is an architecture and design studio based in Stockholm.
    Recent architectural projects completed by the studio include a Swedish home clad in red-painted planks of local pine and a boutique hotel that was converted from a 1920s bank building in Tokyo.
    The photography is by Sigurd Fandango.

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    Xokol restaurant by ODAmx and Rubén Valdez celebrates “collective ritual” of eating

    Mexican architects ODAmx and Rubén Valdez have designed a restaurant with an ash-coloured interior inside a former mechanic’s workshop in Guadalajara.

    Now located in the Mexican city’s Santa Tere neighbourhood, Xokol began in 2017 within a small space that housed just four tables and room for 16 diners.
    Xokol occupies a former mechanic’s workshop that has been converted into a restaurantIn 2020, the restaurant relocated to this larger building, where the aim was to preserve as much of the intimacy and connection between the diners and chefs as possible.
    “Xokol is a restaurant in which the act of eating becomes a collective ritual,” said ODAmx and Rubén Valdez in a joint statement. “The architecture of the space acts a catalyst for the reinterpretation of Mexican culinary traditions and a communal dining experience in which the boundaries between diners, staff and food preparation are non-existent.”
    The interior is lined with dark grey stucco to create an intimate atmosphere, while corn cobs suspended above add the only colourThe restaurant’s interior has a minimalist, monastic quality thanks to the dark grey stucco covering the walls and ceiling, and the black clay comal ovens on full display in the open kitchen.

    “These muted tones foreground the naturally rich colour palettes of the dishes,” the architects said.
    The 15-metre-long dining table creates a communal setting for guests to share the experienceThe concrete workshop building’s exterior was left largely unchanged, aside from the layers of tall panels of steel added across the garage-door entrance to guide guests inside.
    A 15-metre-long oak table runs the length of the double-height interior, enabling 48 covers to be seated at once and share the experience.
    Traditional comal ovens made from black clay are on full display in the open kitchenSuspended above the table is an industrial pendant light that stretches its entice length, emitting a soft glow over the place settings.
    Over the centre of the dining area, a large skylight is covered by a metal grill from which hundreds of corn cobs hang – providing the only hint of colour in the otherwise monochrome restaurant, besides the dishes served.
    At the back, a grid of shelves hold glass jars for fermenting ingredientsThe kitchen runs alongside the table on the other side of the building, towards the back where a grid of shelves contains jars for fermenting ingredients.
    A staircase winds around a totemic stone sculpture by local artist José Dávila, up to a mezzanine level that overlooks the dining area.

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    All of the materials used for the project were sourced locally, and the dining table, pendant light and shelving were fabricated by Guadalajaran artisans.
    “Since its beginnings, Xokol has aimed to conserve and recover the Mazahua culinary traditions and share them with a broader public in a contemporary manner,” said the architects.
    The dark, minimalist interior has a monastic quality”The architectural project acts as an enabler for such goal where every design decision has been thought to achieve it,” they added.
    Xokol is shortlisted in the restaurant and bar interior category of Dezeen Awards 2023, along with a Toronto seafood restaurant by Omar Gandhi Architects, a vaulted brick brewery taproom in Poland by Projekt Praga and three more projects.
    A staircase up to a mezzanine level winds around a totemic sculpture by José DávilaGuadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, is a hotbed for architectural talent and has a thriving food scene.
    Other restaurants with impressive interiors in the city include Veneno, designed by Monteon Arquitectos Asociados to resemble an archeological site, and Hueso, which Cadena + Asociados lined with thousands of animal bones.
    The photography is by Rafael Palacios.
    Project credits:
    Architecture: ODAmx and Rubén ValdezCarpenter: Joselo MaderistaArtwork: José Dávila

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    Studio Tre models Bronx chocolate cafe on Puerto Rican general stores

    This South Bronx cafe that serves a chocolate-focused menu is designed by Brooklyn-based Studio Tre to reflect the brand’s Caribbean roots.

    Bright colours, palm fronds, references to Spanish architecture and wallpaper made of advertisements feature in the second cafe location of the chocolate manufacturer Chocobar Cortés.
    Several design elements in the cafe nod to spaces in Viejo San Juan, including arched openings and chequerboard floorsChocobar Cortés is a fourth-generation family company that has been growing cacao and manufacturing chocolate since 1929, first in the Dominican Republic and then in Puerto Rico.
    In 2013, they opened their first cafe-restaurant in Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) – Puerto Rico’s historic capital – where every dish or drink incorporates chocolate in some way.
    Studio Tre travelled to Puerto Rico at the project’s onset to learn about the Chocobar Cortés brandThe second location in The Bronx brings the concept to New York City and is modelled on the “colmadito” general stores found in Viejo San Juan as a nod to its origins.

    “The design embraces the warmth of the Caribbean and recognisable textures, colours and patterns of the Viejo San Juan neighbourhood of the first location,” said Studio Tre.
    The 1,600-square-foot (150-square-metre) space on Alexander Avenue features a variety of elements borrowed from the colmaditos, including chequerboard cement-tile flooring.
    Historic photos and a rotation of works by local artists are displayed on the wallsA trio of arches that form niches for the back bar and an opening to the bathrooms echo Spanish colonial architecture.
    These arches were painted in the brand’s signature yellow hue, matching the front of the cafe counter and together adding warmth and vibrancy to the space.
    Pale green-grey plaster was applied above wood wainscoting in the cafe”Retired chocolate bar moulds repurposed as design feature above the cafe counter,” said the Studio Tre team, who travelled to San Juan at the project’s onset to learn about the company and its values.
    Ogee wood panelling and bronze hardware on the bar were chosen as an homage to the large doors found across the old city.

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    On the cafe walls, pale green-grey plaster was applied above wood wainscoting, and a mix of historic photos and a rotation of works by local and Caribbean artists are displayed.
    The bathrooms are lined with a collage of brightly coloured cartoons and old advertisments, while radio jingles play over the speakers.
    Yellow counterfronts match the brand’s signature colour, while chocolate moulds are installed aboveThe cafe also hosts a series of events and cultural programming for the neighborhood’s queer community, creating a “spirit of acceptance and celebration”.
    “Imbuing this Caribbean spirit into the design, with also the vibrant and artistic spirit of the neighborhood in The Bronx, the interiors of the restaurant establish Chocobar Cortés as the joyful celebration of culture, chocolate, and community that it is,” said Studio Tre.
    The bathrooms are lined with a collage of old advertismentsChocolate shops and cafes are popular across the globe, and their interiors vary dramatically based on their context.
    Others around the world include one that occupies a century-old house in Kyoto and another in São Paulo where the production processes are put on show.
    The photography is by Grant Legan.

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    Akram Fahmi gives Etch restaurant monochrome revamp to reflect two-ingredient dishes

    Interior designer Akram Fahmi has revamped the Etch restaurant in Hove, East Sussex, creating black and white interiors to reflect its minimalist menu.

    Located in a space that was originally a bank, Etch was first renovated and opened as a restaurant in 2017.
    It has been reimagined by Fahmi, the founder of interiors studio London Design House, with an open kitchen and subterranean speakeasy bar.
    Two modern arches were added to complement the three period arches of the existing buildingFahmi chose the simple colour palette to echo the approach of the restaurant’s menu, where most of the dishes are comprised of just two ingredients.
    Wide-plank chalk-washed timber floors and white walls contrast black banquette seating and timber framing.

    “We identified, and tried to achieve, three key principles in the design; refinement, texture, and locality,” Fahmi told Dezeen.
    Black-framed windows stand in stark contrast to the white interior wallsRough quarry tiles, matte-finished stone and sinuous stretched-fabric lighting were chosen to reflect the textures of the nearby South Downs, the coastline and the urban landscape.
    “The balance in texture and tone is key to the guests’ journey through every space in the restaurant and bar,” Fahmi explained.
    The renovation involved merging two ground-floor units together and uniting a single space that is flooded by natural light from five arched windows.
    The lighting fixtures continue the monochrome themeThe studio kept three original Victorian arched windows on the corner and added two further full-height arches with modernised detailing to create a uniform facade.
    This was further united by painting the whole ground-floor facade charcoal grey.
    The subterranean speakeasy is decorated all in black with dramatic lighting”You want to feel as though the architecture and interiors that you journey through are as curated and elegant as the food in front of you,” Fahmi said.
    Internally, cast iron columns from the old bank were retained and suspended ceilings in the main spaces were stripped out to expose the original high ceilings.
    Stretched lampshades recall the nearby coastal landscapeFahmi worked with the local council to find solutions for extract routes and plans that would “retain and respect the fabric of the historic building as much as possible”.
    The studio used passive devices, such as tinting the glazing to reduce solar glare, to help control the internal temperature more efficiently.

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    New external planting troughs soften the austere facade and hard pavement. The studio chose plants, herbs and grasses that would be suitable for the local coastal environment.
    London Design House also worked with local craftspeople and suppliers on the project to reflect Etch’s ethos of sourcing its produce locally and seasonally.
    A speakeasy bar is underneath the restaurant”I wanted the restaurant to feel like an extension of the food and service we offer, which I would describe as British contemporary, but also minimalist  – mainly using two quality ingredients,” Etch’s chef and owner Steven Edwards told Dezeen.
    The monochrome palette “gives a slightly nordic minimalist feel that works completely with my food style,” he added.
    “I think the relationship between the food you eat and the setting you eat it in is really important. It’s not just about the food – although it’s hard for me to say that being a chef!”
    Other restaurant interiors recently featured on Dezeen include Studio Becky Carter’s “distinctly New York” interiors for Cecchi’s and Otherworlds’ transformation of a Goan villa into restaurant.
    The photography is by Justin de Souza and David Charbit.

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    Dorothée Meilichzon nods to Alice in Wonderland for Cotswolds hotel interior

    French interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon has created the interior for boutique hotel Cowley Manor Experimental, adding chequerboard details and hidden keyholes to the rooms of the former country house.

    Meilichzon drew on the history of the Cowley Manor Experimental, which is said to have inspired author Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland, when designing the interior for the hotel.
    According to the hotel, Caroll was walking in the gardens of the then Cowley Manor with Alice Liddell – for whom he wrote Alice in Wonderland – when he saw a rabbit disappear down a hole under a hedge.
    Nodding to the chessboard around which the classic story is constructed, Meilichzon designed bespoke chequerboard carpets that were produced by Hartley & Tissier.
    The designer added baldachin beds and colourful accents to the bedroom suites”Alice is subtly spread all over the place,” the designer told Dezeen.

    “Small doors are hidden in the rooms for the White Rabbit, there are hidden keyholes, rabbit ears, hearts and spades on the checkerboard carpet,” she explained.
    “We have used the checkerboard in many ways: hand-painted, tiled, on fabrics and wallpaper.”
    Touches of rattan, mixed with strong colour, glossy lacquer and lava stone feature throughout the 36-room hotel. Large bedroom suites have baldachin beds and interiors accented with blurred maple and verdigris.
    The games room features chequerboard rugsThe project, which Meilichzon designed for Experimental Group, saw her update an existing hotel at the site, which sits within 55 acres of Cotswolds countryside. The hotel also incorporates a spa, restaurant, cocktail bar, lounge, library and living rooms.
    Other than respecting the heritage-listed elements of the property, Meilichzon had full design freedom.
    Heritage-listed elements of the existing Cowley Manor were preserved”Historical buildings are something we are used to; we work a lot in Europe and often in very old buildings,” the designer said.
    “So we always try to respect them and start from there: the shape of the space, an architectural detail, a listed element.”

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    Meilichzon combined classical and contemporary elements, keeping all historical listed elements from the building, such as doors, wooden panels and windows.
    However, she added “some modernity through the furniture, the geometric patterns and colours,” she said.
    Hearts derived from the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland are worked into the stair carpet”Colour is everything, I am really not a grey and beige person,” explained Meilichzon.
    The hotel also features a restaurant and cocktail bar by chef Jackson Boxer that is focused on Cowley Manor’s kitchen garden, which has increased in size and is growing wider varieties of produce. The cocktail bar features a lacquered blue bar and tables.
    The bar has blurred walnut panelling and blue lacquered tablesMeilichzon, founder of Paris-based design agency Chzon, is a frequent collaborator of Experimental Group and has designed the interiors for several of its properties.
    “I see my work for Experimental Group as separate pieces but with a common DNA – the same hand. Because they are context-based, a hotel in Menorca cannot look the same as one in Venice or in the Cotswolds,” she said.
    Earlier this year, she gave a bohemian refresh to Ibiza’s first hotel, now called the Montesol Experimental, and has also renovated a Belle Epoque-era hotel in Biarritz, France.
    The photography is by Mr Tripper.

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    Anacapa Architecture converts historic building into Drift Santa Barbara hotel

    US studio Anacapa Architecture has transformed an early 1900s, stucco-clad building that was formerly closed off to the public into a welcoming hotel filled with compact rooms and handcrafted decor.

    Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara in central California, the 45-key hotel is the second outpost from Drift, with the first located in San José del Cabo, Mexico.
    Anacapa Architecture has renovated an early 1900s building to create the Drift HotelThe hotel occupies a three-storey, Italian Mediterranean-style building that totals 15,617 square feet (1,451 square metres).
    Guest rooms are spread across all three levels, and a penthouse suite is found on the top floor. The ground level contains a coffee shop and a bar.
    It is located in a three-storey, Italian Mediterranean-style buildingWhile the building’s original architect is unknown, the firm Soule, Murphy & Hastings performed a renovation following a 1925 earthquake. The building has served various uses over time.

    “One of the only downtown survivors of the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake, the building has stood for well over 100 years and has had many lives,” said local firm Anacapa Architecture.
    Guestrooms and a penthouse occupy the top floors, while a coffee shop and bar are located on the ground levelA hotel operated in the building from 1901 to the 1980s. More recently, it served as a home for the Church of Scientology, which took over in the 1990s and kept the building closed off from the community.
    Making the building more welcoming and honouring its original character were key concerns for the design team. The project was envisioned as a “modern reincarnation” of the hotel that once operated on the site.
    The building’s original arched windows, stucco walls and terracotta roof were kept intact”As part of a restoration, the challenge was to work within the historic context while creating experiences that are appealing to the modern traveler,” the team said.
    The exterior facades, featuring white stucco and arched windows, were kept largely intact. The building’s terracotta tile roof was retained, as well.
    The hallways are darkly clad and feature wooden crossbeamsOn the ground level, the team added folding glass doors on the front wall, which faces a pedestrian promenade. Behind the doors are the coffeeshop and a bar, called Dawn and Dusk, respectively.
    The large openings draw in passersby and help reconnect the building to the neighbourhood.

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    “Space for both locals and travelers is accommodated, returning the building to its roots as a true hospitality venue,” the team said.
    While the exterior has a historic look, the interior is much more modern.
    Local goods from California and Mexican makers were used throughout the designThe team incorporated materials such as concrete and wood. The hotel brand’s Mexican property inspired much of the contemporary furnishings and decor.
    “The hotel is dressed with goods from Californian and Mexican makers, paying homage to the brand’s Baja roots while celebrating its coastal Californian locale,” the team said.
    Soft beige and greys were used throughout the projectThe guest rooms, which range from 145 to 165 square feet (13 to 15 square metres), are compact in comparison to average hotel rooms in the area. Creative solutions, such as under-bed storage, help maximize space.
    Overall, the project has revitalized a building that has long been a fixture in downtown Santa Barbara.
    The building was once closed to the public”The team brought modern life to a building inaccessible to most of the community for so long, bringing a breath of fresh air to downtown, and catering to all,” the team said.
    Anacapa Architecture has offices in Santa Barbara and Portland, Oregon. Additional work by the studio includes a minimalist residence for a California entrepreneur and a glamping resort in Sonoma County that features customised tents and Airstream trailers.
    The photography is by Erin Feinblatt.
    Project credits:
    Architecture and interior Design: ANACAPA ArchitectureContractor: Parton + Edwards ConstructionCivil and structural engineering: Ashley VanceMEP engineering: Consulting WestKitchen, bar, and coffee shop consultant: New School

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