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CINQUE TERRE

Location:  Seattle, Washington
Type:  Commercial

A modern, minimal aesthetic defines this restaurant which focuses on food inspired by the Liguria region of Italy. Located on the ground floor of a new office building in Seattle’s downtown Regrade neighborhood, the 5,770-square-foot venue translates the gently curving facade into a subtly elegant dining experience.

On the street, guests pass behind a signature, board-formed concrete entry wall, which serves to mark the restaurant and creates a modest entry foyer for environmental control. Inside, the restaurant is conceived as one contiguous space—open from dining to bar to kitchen—to provide a seamless dining experience and to minimize the existing, low ceiling heights. Central to the design is the Marra Forni brick oven which marks the focal point of the space, and serves as the hinge for the curving space. Wood—both walnut and ash—is used sparingly and largely reserved for areas of human touch such as the bar top, hand rails, tables tops, booths, signature light fixtures, and panels that divide the private table seating. White accents, including metal railings, seating, and table linens emphasize the minimal aesthetic and helps to shift the focus to the food. The use of color is limited to the bar, where bottles are reflected in the mirror-backed shelving. A 1,390-square-foot mezzanine dining area with views overlooks the main floor and provides additional seating when needed.

The exterior curtain wall was reworked to include large, operable windows that open the dining room to patio seating and the outdoors, reinforcing the spacious quality of the design.

Photography:  Spike Mafford