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industrial bar restaurant with metal sheet counter and concrete wall

Dawn & Dusk by ANACAPA Architecture; Photograph by Erin Feinblatt

GRAY Media announces the breakout category, bar or lounge finalists for the 7th Annual GRAY Awards.

SEATTLE, January 8, 2024 — Now in its 7th year, GRAY Awards — the international cross-disciplinary design awards program — continues to recognize the outstanding work happening around the world. Finalists have been selected in the fields of ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS, LANDSCAPE, and PRODUCT DESIGN.

Designers and manufacturers were invited to submit their projects in nine judges categories plus an editors’ pick Design for Good category. An esteemed panel of international design luminaries will select a winner in each of the initial nine categories. The winning designers will receive print and digital recognition as well as a custom designed trophy by acclaimed glass artist John Hogan.

GRAY encourages designers and manufacturers to create "Design for Good" projects —projects that have made a positive impact through design on a humanitarian, community, or environmental issue — and offers an award dedicated to these works each year.

In 2020, when the GRAY Awards expanded from a regional to international program, GRAY added a Legacy Award dedicated exclusively to a Pacific Northwest-based designer's lifetime achievement, honoring the region where GRAY began and the home to the GRAY Awards Parties. GRAY will name the next Legacy at the Party.

Newly introduced at the 6th annual GRAY Awards last year, GRAY added several Breakout Categories, opening up opportunities to win GRAY Awards in micro-categories from Kitchens to Collaborations.

All winners will be announced at the GRAY Awards Party held in Seattle in March, 2024. The party is one of the most highly anticipated design bashes of the year, where all guests are treated like winners.

To purchase tickets, visit the 7th annual GRAY Awards Party page.


design judges black and white portraits

It is our privilege each year to welcome an international group of distinguished creatives to the GRAY Awards judging panel. Each working at the top of their game, these professionals now focus a discerning eye on determining the winners of the coveted GRAY Awards trophies.

7th annual GRAY Awards judging panel: Lee Broom, Brigitte Shim, Alessandro Munge, Silvia Tcherassi, Stephen Burks

bar lounge with arched opening revealing natural stone wall and cream sofas

Booker Vineyard by Signum Architecture

Photograph by Adam Rouse

The goal for this small winery hospitality structure, set adjacent to the production winery on 100 acres on the west side of Paso Robles, was to design a space to gather that would embody the ethos and personality of its owner and winemaker. The vineyard and wines are named after the site’s original owners - who had dedicated their lives to being great farmers, humanitarians and stewards of the land. The new owner wanted to honor and carry on that legacy of stewardship while making his own distinct mark in the Paso Robles wine country. In the design approach, Signum Architecture took their cue from the client: a self-professed minimalist with a belief that a fanciful winery and expensive gadgetry do nothing to make a wine - or a place - better.

restaurant central bar with black stools, marbled counter, and corrugated details

gair by Jeshua Paone Architecture Studio PLLC and Kevin Cimini

Photograph by Amy Barkow

The project is situated on a corner of a Landmark building in a historic neighborhood where in the late 1800's an industrialist named Robert Gair invented the common corrugated cardboard box. The design uses narrative threads to add complexity. One thread follows the building itself. At the time of its original construction, it was the tallest cast-in-place concrete structure in America. This historical fact inspired the first act of construction, which was to sand blast the space to reveal the original concrete. The second was to cast-in-place a concrete bar front, which has an infrastructural presence, as though it could have been part of the building’s origin.

This newly uncovered original space and sculptural intervention set the stage for a new chapter in the building’s history. Corrugation, cardboard, partial curves, rounded corners, bullnoses, articulated sheens, and concrete were used as design motifs throughout the project to give the design depth and cohesion.

industrial bar restaurant with metal sheet counter and concrete wall

Dawn & Dusk by ANACAPA Architecture

Photograph by Erin Feinblatt

The first-floor layout is very open, with walls between the coffee shop and bar opening to create a space for locals and travelers to collaborate. While having no standard amenities, DRIFT offers a cafe and bar on the ground level. The experience draws upon DRIFT’s roots in Mexico, its environment, and the Spanish-style community of Santa Barbara. Most recently, the space served as the home of the Church of Scientology for the last decade, an establishment known by the community but only from outside the walls. Through impactful and intentional design decisions, the team brought modern life to a building inaccessible to most of the community for so long, bringing fresh air to downtown and catering to all. DAWN & DUSK incorporate raw materials such as concrete and steel and a beautiful juxtaposition of the new modern interiors and protected Mediterranean exteriors.

natural coffee bar with concrete, stone, and brass features, and a wheat hanging

Small Victory Brentwood by &Daughters

Photograph by Conrad Brown

The third Small Victory outpost in Vancouver embraces the raw materiality of its existing concrete structure and features a palette that blends naturally with the base building. Adjacent to both exterior and interior public spaces within a highrise, the space is open and porous on three of its four sides to entice passersby to come and partake in the café’s offerings.

Challenges posed by the location of existing structural elements and the majority of the perimeter wall being open solicited a design response that emphasized utilitarian function, approachability and visual accessibility from all perspectives. The result is a 16’ x 16’ floating coffee bar, clad in Tundra Grey Marble, that commands the room. The bar became the defining feature and the raison d’être of the space in which all activities revolve around. Composed of strong rectilinear planes with substantial columnar corners, each side accommodates a different program for either customers or staff. Through the process of programming and manipulating the bar’s surfaces, planes are pushed and pulled and volumes are extruded. These surfaces and volumes in turn facilitate passive way-finding for staff and customer activity and define the various programs of the bar. Spaces were carved out to indicate product display, coffee passover, a standing bar, condiment station, seating, espresso station, slow bar, grinding and brewing. The bar became a stage for the performative act of coffee-making. The introduction of custom plated, under-counter mod bar espresso machines shows a materially integrated, barrier- free experience between customers and staff.

colorful bar interior with floral mural and light wood tables and chairs

Please Beverage Co. by Table Architecture Collective

Photograph by Janis Nicolay

When Noel Steen approached Table Architecture Collective about a design for his new distillery project, he imagined the space as a unique typology that blended the social vitality of a brewery tasting room with the romantic atmosphere of a cocktail lounge. The vision was to create a space imagined as a lush and bright clearing within an aggressive industrial vernacular built environment. The space was intended to appeal to patrons from a wide range of local craft, culinary and high-tech businesses located nearby.

This project is a renovation of a clay block and heavy wood timber building from the 1970’s that had been a custom high end car upholstery shop for many years. Hidden behind the partially dismantled carcasses of a Lincoln Continental, Alpha Romeo Spider and a Plymouth Valiant was a space with high ceilings, bright natural light that morphed dramatically over the course of the day, and a wildly eccentric structure.

At the beginning of the project, the layout and design vision focused on smaller, intimate tables, housed within an abstracted greenhouse structure where plants were used to define edges and boundaries between light and shadowed spaces. Concurrently, Stephen Tufts, in his role as the beverage taste explorer, was developing a visual and flavor library of botanicals, marinated citruses and berries, and soaked spices as the basis of Please’s cocktail recipes. This visual array of soft greens, luminous oranges and yellows along with crimson reds served as an inspiration for the interior color palate.

7th Annual GRAY Awards finalists' announcements began December 18, 2023 and will continue to publish daily until all categories have been announced. For more information, visit our GRAY Awards Party page.


Thank you to our 7th annual GRAY Awards sponsors and industry partners:


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