CORE architecture + design
Bethesda, MD, USA
Project Year
Ron Ngiam


CORE architecture + design as Designers

The design of Prima, a new fast casual concept from Michael Schlow, centers on the display of healthy and wholesome Italian offerings in a welcoming atmosphere that evokes the feeling of being served in an Italian home.

Focusing on natural materials and traditional millwork detailing, the design highlights Prima’s cuisine, both in production and display, to deliver an overall cozy guest experience. The visitor orientation begins outside at the streetscape, reducing ambiguity between two existing doors by repositioning the corner signage and replacing the canopy materials to guide guests towards the correct interior queuing. Large, decorative lampshade pendant light fixtures in the dining area highlight the tall, airy interior space. The restaurant features two large overhead doors, which can open up the entire building corner to the pedestrian-friendly streets, for an al fresco dining experience in the warm seasons. CORE’s design delivers an efficient operational flow for guests and staff in a uniquely challenging floor plan. For example, without a typical “back door” for delivery service, the secondary exterior door is designed to serve as service access, guest exit and also function as side entry for online order pickup. With minimal impact to the floor plan and MEP systems, the design transforms a previously modern, raw-steel aesthetic space into a fresh, warm, and inviting “old world” Italian environment.

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Project Credits
New Ludgate
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New Ludgate

Commercial Landscape and Individual Buildings
London, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2015
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