After being pleasantly surprised to be nominated at all for a prestigious American Institute of Architecture's Los Angeles Chapter, restaurant design award, Boulder sandwich shop Modmarket was thrilled to walk away last week with not one but two cafe design awards: people's choice and the jury prize (which it shares with Venice, California restaurant Intelligentsia).
"Usually, cutting edge architecture is not in Colorado," deadpans co-owner Anthony Pigliacampo, noting the restaurant's location -- "in a strip mall, no less" -- makes the awards that much more of a coup. Pigliacampo says he's pretty sure no other Colorado restaurant has even been nominated for an AIA award, let alone won it.
The awards are typically bestowed on design work coming out of cities on the coasts.
"It just shows that a we have a lot of support," he says, referring specifically to the people's choice award, which was put to a public vote earlier this month.
The open space and stark, white and chrome design is a product of the vision and handiwork of Denver's Roth + Sheppard Architects.
"Since its inception, we've thought we had done a pretty good job on the design," says Pigliacampo. "Our focus was to create a fast casual restaurant that didn't look like anything else. We wanted to make something a little more distinct."
"We had the idea of a completely open kitchen," Pigliacampo explains.
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"Then we came up with the concept of two pods -- a kitchen pod and a customer pod -- and they kind of overlap and join together. It makes for a cool visual effect. The space is kind of long and tunnel-like ... It's kind of like being in an actual kitchen."
To celebrate the awards, Modmarket's throwing a party next Saturday, July 10, from 8 to 10 p.m., with free pizza and $1 beers and glasses of wine. For more information call 720-663-9440.