Jake’s Garden at Sav’s Restaurant and Gourmet

Jake’s Garden at Sav’s Restaurant and Gourmet

Architect
PLUS-SUM Studio
Location
Lexington, USA | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Restaurants
Martin Summers

Jake’s Garden at Sav’s Restaurant and Gourmet Ice Cream

PLUS-SUM Studio as Architects

The owner of Sav's Restaurant and Gourmet Ice Cream, Mamadou “Sav” Savané approached PLUS-SUM Studio a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic to consider how the restaurant might be expanded to better address public health and safety. Restaurants were particularly affected by the pandemic by public policy measures to stop the spread of the disease, closing dining spaces to the public and forcing many restauranteurs to innovate in an attempt to survive. Carryout and delivery became the only options if they could make enough to keep the doors open and retain their employees with government grants.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

Sav saw an opportunity to take advantage of the slowdown and do something new by expanding the small restaurant and doubling the space for dining in normal times while allowing for a new safe dining experience under the new restrictions. Initially, an idea was formed to build an arbor-like space next to a small, planted area between the sidewalk and the side street, making a “garden side” pavilion. After an initial design, it was discovered that the city Right-of-Way came within feet of the existing building, forcing a change that was serendipitous.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

The project would now move the Main Street Façade and replace the existing small, tandem parking lot with a new site design that reimagined the property as a garden. While in a new location, the concept remained basically the same; to abstract the pattern of the buildings existing custom-painted “hat,” forming a new pavilion in the garden. The existing roof painting mimics a thatch roof with several banners and masks that are symbols of West Africa and the focus of the restaurant’s cuisine. PLUS-SUM Studio translated and abstracted the thatch lines into a pattern of cedar, shading the new dining space below while simultaneously producing a dappled light pattern.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

The pattern is physical and projected, thickening the space of dining in an ever-changing play of light and shadow. The result expresses research interests in camouflage and glitch aesthetics while also blurring the relationships between interior and exterior, site and structure, landscape and architecture. The play of light and shadow feel as if you are under a canopy of trees. In this way, the initial garden side concept was translated into the physical shelter to make clear that the entire site and structure produced a garden experience that is spatially complex, visually distinct, and uniquely authentic like the cuisine itself.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

The site design is further conceptualized through the arrangment of Corten steel planters that will rust over time and provide an additional, spatial pattern that works with the trees to define smaller rooms within the garden. Some of these slip across the thresholds of the shelter to make clear that the entire site is “Jake’s Garden,” and give small clues that the space is not singular in nature, but is a series of overlapping, indeterminate rooms. The goal was to make an inviting space where the community can gather, this has been true since its opening.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

What was the brief?
To design an outdoor dining space to address Covid-19 restrictions while also honoring Jake Gibbs with a small garden space

What were the key challenges?
Limited budget, escalating prices of lumber and limited supply during project construction, sub-surface conditions, precise fabrication of the cedar envelope.

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers

What materials did you choose and why?
Pressure treated pine for the structure, cedar for the envelope and tables, Corten steel planters, steel, polycarbonate. All materials were chosen for longevity and controlling which ones visually change versus which will remain the same. The idea was that the structure itself fades into the landscape as the landscape matures.

Team:
Design Team: Brian Richter and Martin Summers
Cedar Envelope Fabrication and Installation: Brian Richter and Martin Summers
Cedar Table Design and Fabrication: Brian Richter and Martin Summers
Support and fabrication space: Nomi Architecture Design Fabrication 
Structural Consultant: Luckett & Farley
General Contractor: Dudley Burke & Mica Puscas
Lighting Consultant: Heather Libonati, LC - Luminesce Design 
Lumber: Congleton Lumber

photo_credit Martin Summers
Martin Summers
photo_credit Brian Richter
Brian Richter
photo_credit Brian Richter
Brian Richter
photo_credit Brian Richter
Brian Richter

Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: 2x4 & 2x6 rough cut cedar from Congelton Lumber & Design Center, Lexington, Kentucky
2. Flooring: Gravel from Vulcan Materials Company, Lexington, Kentucky
3. Windows: Tuftex10mm Mult-Wall Polycarbonate
4. Roofing: Tuftex Corrugated Clear Polycarbonate, Tuftex 6mm Mult-Wall Polycarbonate
5. Interior lighting: XMCOSY+ Patio Lights, Outdoor String Lights. Customized into cedar ceiling envelope
6. Interior furniture: Custom design and fabrication of tables, Corten plantersby Veradek, Chairs (Owner supplied)

Project Credits
Structural Consultant
Lighting Consultant
Support and fabrication space
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
Facade cladding: 2x4 & 2x6 rough cut cedarCongleton Lumber & Design Center
Roofing: Corrugated Clear Polycarbonate, 6mm Multi-Wall PolycarbonateTuftex
Corten plantersVeradek
Flooring: GravelVulcan Materials Company
Product Spec Sheet
Facade cladding: 2x4 & 2x6 rough cut cedar
Roofing: Corrugated Clear Polycarbonate, 6mm Multi-Wall Polycarbonate
by Tuftex
Corten planters
by Veradek
Flooring: Gravel
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