Last weekend, the Austin American-Statesman profiled chef Shawn Cirkiel, who mentioned working at an award-winning Austin restaurant we designed called "22", that was "ahead of its' time" when it opened in 2000. He added that Twenty Two was an "experiment with higher-end restaurants" serving "modern American cuisine" and described the experience as "incredibly educational." His comments motivated me to post a TBT (Throwback Thursday) item about the project.
Twenty Two's partners Doug Foreman (who founded "Guiltless Gourmet" and "Beanitos") and Frank Obregon had developed a restaurant concept that was upscale in terms of food and service and hoped to capitalize on Austin's tech boom. They brought in Shawn as part of the opening team and the North Austin restaurant & bar quickly gained critical accolades for its' continental menu with Southwestern & Asian influences. "22" also had a great wine list and some of the best service I've ever experienced in Austin (although "La V" in East Austin may have set a new standard recently).
From a design standpoint, the clients asked for something "sophisticated and fresh" compared to anything else in Austin at the time. Texas Monthly's Pat Sharpe called the 5,000 sf multi-level restaurant "an architectural knockout." It featured innovative lighting and acoustical design as well as walls of temperature-controlled wine storage displays and a private dining area. It was honored by the Austin Chapters of AIA (American Institute of Architects) and ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). It also received a top regional design award from the Texas / Oklahoma Chapter of the International Interior Design Association and was featured in an exhibit entitled "Portrait of A City" at Austin's Daugherty Arts Center and a 2nd exhibit in conjunction with the Charles Moore Center For The Study of Place.
The images at the beginning of this post show the ceiling of the bar area in the restaurant (right photo) and a detail shot (left photo) of a lighting sconce on a colorful curved wall at the entrance to the restaurant. The photographs were taken by Patrick Wong. The custom sconce was designed by LSDA and fabricated by Two Hills Studio (who also fabricated other custom light fixtures for the project). Austin Artist Kathleen Ash made the fused glass for the sconce.
For more details about the project, click on this Twenty Two Restaurant & Bar link. If you need any help with your next project, please send us a note or call us at 512.383.1090. For more info about the variety of services we provide, please go to the "About Us" page on our website.
SMarchitecture / Austin
a blog about smart design + architecture + interiors