The design for this modern Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin establishes a protected urban sanctuary for Comedor’s progressive dining experience. Located on Fifth and Colorado, a busy intersection in Austin’s central business district, the new building takes a strong corner position to leave space for a protected open-air inner courtyard.
Quiet from the outside, inside visitors are transported to an urban oasis in the heart of Austin. A façade of dark brick interspersed with glass brick glows at night, piquing curiosity from the street, while screening interior spaces from direct view. A discreet entry sequence on the south opens to a glass-wrapped, double-height dining space, where candlelight and a tonal material palette of steel, Hickory wood and concrete continues the sense of mystery established outside.
The heart of Comedor is the interior courtyard which contains Palo Verde and Acacia trees and a small fountain. Over one-hundred-year-old exposed brick from the adjacent historic McGarrah Jessee Building lends texture and context to the courtyard, which opens to the elements to take advantage of Austin’s climate. The interior dining space with bar and formal dining adjoins to the courtyard via four retractable guillotine window walls operated via manual hand cranks, allowing Comedor to open completely to the outdoors. Warm leather upholstery, wood banquettes and tables, and multi-colored textiles soften the custom blackened steel furnishings, which include custom chairs, bar stools and light fixtures. Throughout, a careful orchestration of contrasts defines this comfortably refined modern restaurant.
Comedor is Tom Kundig and Olson Kundig’s first project in the State of Texas.
“The driving idea for Comedor was a design that orchestrates between interior and exterior spaces. The protected inner courtyard allows the restaurant to open up completely during those great Austin nights, but also feel protected from the urban situation just outside.” –Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal
Material Used :
1. Seves Glassblock– Glass brick –Vetropieno Clear Rettangolare
2. Walls (interior, restrooms) – Marmorino Venetian Plaster, grey
3. Interior paneling – Hot rolled steel
4. Flooring – Concrete
5. “Spoons“ light fixture – Custom design by Olson Kundig, fabricated by Resolute Lighting
6. Dining chairs, bar stools, banquettes, booths and dining tables – Custom
7. Moore & Giles – Interior seating upholstery (banquettes, chairs and barstools) –Harness Chocolate
8. Tom Kundig Collection – Custom bar-height rolling table
9. Bar counter – Quartzite
10. Bar and host desk – Custom – Patinaed brass
11. Wood tables and banquette frames – Custom –Hickory
12. Restroom sinks – Custom – Concrete