Shapes borrowed from Middle Eastern architecture and colours of over-saturated food photographs found on menus informed the interior of this fast-casual Lebanese restaurant in Victoria, Canada. Vancouver-based duo Studio Roselyn based the design for Superbaba on the quick-service eateries found across the Middle East, but put their own “quirky” twist on the typology while working to a tight budget. The four owners’ family histories, “grungy” signage, and menus with brightly coloured photos showing the dishes on offer were all starting points for the project. “Our goal was to marry these sources of inspiration into an artful space that would be at once intriguing and inviting,” said Studio Roselyn founders Kate Snyder and Jessica MacDonald.
“Creating a comfortable and intriguing space that was at once functional proved an interesting challenge.” The layout of the compact space – located in the city’s Downtown area – is focused around the service area. Positioned beneath a lowered portion of ceiling with a curved front, this employees-only zone is demarcated by a speckled quartzite countertop that sits on blue-fronted cupboards. Panels presenting the food and drink options are displayed above a hole through to the kitchen, through which meals are passed. Arched shapes borrowed from Middle Eastern architecture form railings to separate those ordering and eating.
The arched shapes are echoed in wall murals painted with blocks of light blue and forest green, while the back-of-house corridor is painted entirely in on-trend pale pink. The artwork on the walls was created by photographing Superbaba’s dishes, and then collaging and distorting the images. “This was where we had a lot of fun with referencing the oversaturated (and seemingly unflattering) food photography seen in most donair shops,” said Studio Roselyn.Globe-shaped pendants from Viso Lighting help to illuminate the space, along with neon signage and light boxes that also reference fast-food spots in Lebanon. “We feel that one success of this project is that it elevates and pushes the e xpectations of quick-service, fast-casual restaurants,” the studio said.
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