Anyone with an eye for minimalist design will tell you, less is more. But do Dieter Rams' sagely timeless words apply to restaurant design? Vancouver-based Scott and Scott Architects believe so. And with a budget of just over $15,000 and 750 square feet to work with, the duo designed and built Bestie, a newly opened sausage and beer parlor in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown area. Run by first-time restaurateurs Clinton McDougall and Dane Brown, the modest 25-seat establishment draws on its owners' backgrounds in art and design for a clean, almost Scandinavian, interior anchored in raw materials and movable furnishings.
Funded through crowd-sourcing site Indiegogo in late 2012, Bestie was created by owners and architects who worked hand-in-hand through the design and build process. "The small budget and tight space drove the casual, familiar qualities of the space that reflected the menu of well-made street food," says architect David Scott. "We relied on the sorts of techniques that are in picnic shelters, roadside fruit-stands and family-owned delis; heavily painted surfaces, economy grade wood and soft metal work that can be made with regular tools."
The ability to accomodate events and a changing customer demographic were central in designing the space's furnishings. Unanchored tables and benches give McDougall and Brown the ability to rearrange for film screenings and communal dinners, while a beautiful leather, brass and wood hanging shelving system offers those in the kitchen efficient access to steins and tableware. The far wall accommodates a range of lighting options thanks to simple drilled holes and Mariner lights from Vancouver designer Zoe Garred. Further local touches include bar stools designed by fellow Vancouverite Joji Fukushima and, of course, a stripped-down menu of locally-sourced ingredients.
While we haven't tried the reportedly delicious menu of German street food, we are confident the space alone is worth checking out if you happen to be in the neighborhood. For location information visit Bestie's website and be sure to keep an eye out for more impressive work by Scott and Scott Architects.
Images courtesy of Scott and Scott Archtiects