CREEKSIDE CAFÉ STUDY

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Airdrie Alberta

New Food Service Building

490 square metres (5 274 square feet)

1 375 square metres (0.34 acres)

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Our goal with this project was to study how small, purpose built restaurant building could integrate into the terminus of an existing creek bed. Located on a unique site in a suburban area, the presence of a watercourse in what would otherwise be a "standard" commercial development was an interesting starting point for this project. A desire for this project was to provide not only a viable commercial restaurant space, but also a community hub with a large exterior patio and meeting space, plus a takeaway service window and takeaway which has become more important in a post COVID world.

The design of the building was best served by fronting the two-level dining area onto the creek, which also provided a south-facing building form. The strength of this organizing principle was then built upon by tuning the volumetrics of the building to respond specifically to this site orientation. This led us to a form with an angled roof that reached its greatest height at its south limit. Not only did this add visual interest to the design, but it maximized solar gain and views to the creek. 

The monoslope roof was seen as an interesting start point for the design, and detailing of the building started at the top and moved downwards. Our goal was to ensure that the underside of the roof was as simple and linear as possible, in order to avoid diminishing the power of this roof form. To that end, the highest edge of the roof is supported by the most slender steel coumns that be designed for this structure. These are honestly expressed, and their cross bracing is clearly exposed. 

The interior of the space features a two-level dining space, connected to south facing exterior decks on both levels. A connecting internal staircase and a two-level fireplace are of primary visual interest with the space. In terms of the seating areas inside and outside the building, a substantial amount of floor space was allocated to ensure proper distance between tables. The concept for the project also includes a takeaway window on the east face of the building, along the frontage of the existing road. 

© 2020 Systemic Architecture Inc.

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