09 Feb 2021 • Edmonds, United States
Graham Baba Architects
Architecture and Interior Design
Kitchen Design / Equipment Supply
Fabrication of bar top, front door, table tops, and banquette
Fabrication of wood screen
Fabrication of bar die wall, bar back cladding, and bar casework
Situated in a 1950s-era, single story building on Main Street in downtown Edmonds, Leftcraft is casual and approachable, yet distinct from local restaurant and bar establishments. Rich materiality and an embrace of time-worn patina set the venue apart. The latest in a series of restaurants developed by the same owner, Leftcraft evolves the exploration of themes established in the most recent iteration. Here, the design explores and plays with themes of materiality, color, and texture and the contrast between new and old.
The infill building, modified at various times during its existence, possessed a rich texture of exposed concrete, fir and steel structure, and tongue-and-groove fir ceiling. These raw materials show the patina of age and express the historic character of the building. For new insertions, the team selected materials with their own raw quality to complement existing finishes, while design details articulate them as contemporary additions. The new palette includes raw steel, Douglas fir, and oak stained to match the tone of the existing concrete. Other finishes, such as Richlite, tile, and fabric, also blend into the existing palette. These restrained colors allow the natural color of the fir, new and old, to be the focus of the space.
Prominent in the restaurant is a faceted wood screen that serves as a scale device, visually and physically dividing the eighty-foot-deep space and breaking it down into cozier sized volumes. Built from nearly two hundred two-by-six pieces of rough-sawn Douglas fir, the screen reaches down from the ceiling, a contemporary evolution of the historic wood. From there, it extends horizontally, masking HVAC ductwork, before connecting to the floor. Three sky lights were added to the ceiling to bring natural light deep into the space. Shadows cast by light passing through the screen animate the interiors, shifting with the time of day and year and adding another level of drama to the space. From the entry, the vertical portions of screen frame the oven and rotisserie in the kitchen, drawing the eye to the theater of cooking. Custom-designed linear pendant lights, also fabricated from fir, extend the lines of the screen towards the front of the space. Fir greets visitors at the front door, which was fabricated with rough-sawn veneers of the same wood used to form the screen.
Other furniture - including benches, all tables, and the bar top – was fabricated from white oak. Supporting legs of raw steel are gently curved to present the white oak as a pedestal would, for the user to admire and touch. At the bar, vertical surfaces are finished with dark Richlite panels. Subtle decorative patterns etched into the material reference the lines defined by the wood screen, as well as a nod to the waves of nearby Puget Sound and the distant outlines of mountains.
The design plays with the materiality of old and new. Complementary materials with similar tones - concrete, fabric, wood, steel - blend into each other, with the new interventions distinguish themselves as contemporary manifestations of the existing materials and their character. Natural tones, textured finishes, and the warmth of wood cultivate a warm and inviting space.