Three Years ago I posted about Park 51 in New York, a project assigned to Michel Aboud , a Lebanese architect who graduated from American University of Beirut prior to continuing his studies in the U.S.A. His name shone then, since it was a controversial project, and continued since. He and his team opened an office in Beirut, Lebanon and have several Avant-garde projects at hand.It was lovely seeing one of their projects, Workshop, get awarded with the best restaurant in the Americas. Check out the photos in this post and description by SOMA below.
“The client requested a fresh new architectural identity to correspond with his opening of the Workshop Kitchen & Bar restaurant in Palm Springs, CA. The given site, the Historic El Paseo building, immediately constrained the possibilities of the design, which we exploited to our advantage. The project seeks to retain the elegance of the existing space, by enhancing the verticality of the existing space. The concrete furniture stands in immediate contrast to the white existing building. In the center aisle, a large communal dining table acts as a more public dining space, while large monolithic concrete booths provide a more intimate dining setting. Additionally, a private dining area at the rear of the space allows guests to dine at the monolithic altar piece. Lighting design by PS-Lab in Beirut elegantly compliments the brutalist interior.”
PRINCIPAL: MICHEL ABBOUD
PARTNER: LEO SGUERA
KEY STAFF: STEVEN TOWNSEND, KAMIL CZARNECKI, MARWAN SALIBA
PHOTOGRAPHER: DAVID LEE – PALM SPRINS
SOMA is an international amalgamation of a young and highly developed workforce spanning several nationalities, founded in New York in 2003. Mexico City and Beirut subsidiaries subsequently opened in 2006 and 2009 respectively and ensured around the clock success of projects of all scales.
Led by its founder Michel Abboud, SOMA allows for the ease of execution of creative and complex programs within complex sites, globally. SOMA works closely with clients to understand their needs and desires in relationship to external constraints in today’s ever changing cycle of occupancy and use of buildings. Rather than imposing a ‘parti’ onto a given site, SOMA tends to deploy patterns which are seemingly self-organizing and grow with the site and its intended and un-intended future uses.
SOMA constantly attempts to extend the boundaries of architectural design while incorporating craft, digital technologies, and environmental responsibility. It is this ability to work in the virtual space of organizational tools, while deploying concrete structures, materials, and spaces that places SOMA at the cutting-edge of architectural practice.