Portage Bay Café

Seattle, WA

The focus of this South Lake Union eatery is on serving sustainable, organic food from local producers. Situated in the concrete shell of a recently completed office building, the design incorporates organic shapes and natural, sustainable materials to bring scale, texture and a sense of flow to the industrial space. Inspired by the wavering boundary between land and water, a curved wall clad with fir dowels is a primary feature. In addition to the visual drama created by the dowels, they serve as a sculptural blind for the mechanical system and acoustical buffers. A pair of wood rowing shells, dots of light, and a photo wall that showcases the restaurant’s producers animate the spacious dining room. At the entrance, a more intimate cafe atmosphere derives from the Kirei board-clad curved bar that serves as an espresso bar, eating counter and host station.