Restaurant Development & Design

FALL 2014

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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3 4 • R E S T A U R A N T D E V E L O P M E N T + D E S I G N • F A L L 2 0 1 4 hard-surface foors — better durability and ease of cleaning — compared to car- peting make them a desirable choice for high-traffc areas. Offsetting the acoustic refectance of these materials, however, typically requires the use of quieting strategies up high. One tactic that works: varying ceil- ing surface heights. "Flat surfaces refect sound from directly where it comes from, while texture spreads out the sounds," notes Griz Dwight, president of GrizForm Design Architects in Washington, D.C. More than a few restaurants have hired GrizForm to redesign space in order to reduce the acoustic vol- ume inside their establishments, he says. Installing hanging acous- tic dampening panels, foating clouds or drop ceilings creates uneven surfaces that help prevent sound waves from bouncing around. These elements, typically composed of soft materials, also absorb sound by their nature. An acoustic-dampening paint containing ceramic beads, developed by NASA, is an- other material that breaks up fat surfaces and dampens sounds. Dwight says that this material, which yields a suede-like fnish, has been useful as a quieting surface on several projects. Many types of materials have sound- absorbing qualities. At The Freehouse, spray-on acoustic ceiling material above and around the keg tops helps offset the noise refectance of the metallic design elements. "We didn't want a bright sound- ing room," says David Burley, CEO of The Freehouse parent Blue Plate Restaurant Co. Having been in the restaurant business for 20 years, Burley says he's been in too many loud rooms and was adamant that the space not be cacophonous. In some cases, the location of a space impacts acoustic concerns. For example, a restaurant underneath a hotel or offce building may need to add mate- rial to the ceiling to achieve acoustic separation from the foor above. "If you have a noisy bar, you don't want to disturb people staying in hotel rooms," Lencioni says. If an eatery is located be- low a parking garage, acoustic isolation will muffe the noise from vehicles. Moving vehicles can also cause notice- able shaking below. "You may also have to compensate for vibration using vibra- tion isolators, or you can get shaking lights," he adds. Aesthetics: The Wow Factor Like every other aspect of an interior space, the ceiling can and should re- inforce the design motif. For example, horizontal wood ceiling beams, which convey warmth and a classic look, can echo down to the foor with vertical wood beams stained the same color as the overhead beams, Lencioni says. The Waugh Chapel Nando's unit refects the color of the beams in its wood fooring to give the interior a cohesive appearance. Reclaimed wood was used throughout the space. Ropes resembling those used in tall ships centuries ago hang from the ceiling to evoke a nautical theme. Splashes of color in ceiling elements that echo colors used below represent another effective approach to creating a cohesive look. In the Nando's at the Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, Md., light fxtures hanging from the ceil- ing feature colorful beads that showcase the same primary colors that appear in inlays on a narrow wooden counter next to the bar area. The bar's glass facade also refects some of the same colors. In some cases, design fourishes in the ceiling serve as focal points. Paint- ings, custom-made quilts, pop-art light fxtures, and multicolored LED lights in mesh netting on which pictures can be created are some of the possibilities mentioned by designers. In the Nando's at the Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, Md., light fxtures hanging from the ceiling feature colorful beads that showcase the same primary colors that appear in inlays on a wooden counter next to the bar area. At the new David Burke fabrik in the Archer Hotel New York, a large quilt made from remnant fabric pieces sourced from an upholstery shop is an eye-catching feature juxtaposed against the white ceiling.

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