A closer look at Comedor Restaurant, one of five finalists in the 2021 GRAY Awards Commercial Architecture category.
Comedor, a modern Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin, establishes an urban sanctuary on a busy intersection in the city's central business district. Designed by Seattle's Olson Kundig, the new building, with its eye-catching light-box structure, revitalizes a former surface parking lot into a sophisticated design destination that blends industrial features with a clean, modern aesthetic.
A façade of dark brick interspersed with glass glows at night, grabbing attention from the street while screening interior spaces from direct view. A discreet entrance on the south side of the building opens to a glass-wrapped, double-height dining space, where candlelight and a tonal material palette of steel, wood, and concrete continues the modern presence established by its exterior.
The interior dining space adjoins to the courtyard through four retractable guillotine window walls. Operated via manual hand cranks, the windows allow Comedor to open completely to the outdoors and facilitate a flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. This flexibility ensures that guests can experience Austin’s warm, sunny weather while providing a protected interior refuge during the hottest days.
Design Principal: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA
Project Manager: Bob Jakubik, AIA, LEED® AP
Architectural Staff: Joe Fillipelli, Claire Fontaine
Interior Design: Laina Navarro
Interior Design Staff: Megan Adams
Gizmo Design: Phil Turner
General Contractor: The Burt Group
Architect of Record: McKinney/York Architects
Interior Production: Micki Spencer
Civil Engineer: Stantec
Landscape Architect: The Garden Design Studio
Structural Engineer: Structures
MEP Engineer: Aptus Engineering
Lighting Design: O- Lighting
Gizmo Design: KB Architectural Services with Phil Turner
Gizmo Fabrication: Drophouse Design
Photography: Aaron Leitz
Date of Completion: June 2019
Additional Architecture, Commercial finalists:
Blu Dot Showroom
The Century Project at the Space Needle
Check out the Quick List to see all of the 2021 GRAY Awards finalists!
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