The design for this modern Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin establishes a protected urban sanctuary for Comedor’s progressive dining experience. Located on Fifth and Colorado, a busy intersection in Austin’s central business district, the new building takes a strong corner position to leave space for a protected open-air inner courtyard.
Quiet from the outside, inside visitors are transported to an urban oasis in the heart of Austin. A façade of dark brick interspersed with glass brick glows at night, piquing curiosity from the street, while screening interior spaces from direct view. The heart of Comedor is the interior courtyard which contains Palo Verde and Acacia trees and a small fountain. Over one-hundred-year-old exposed brick from the adjacent historical McGarrah Jessee Building lends texture and context to the courtyard, which opens to the elements to take advantage of Austin’s climate. The interior double-height, glass-wrapped dining space adjoins to the courtyard via four retractable guillotine window walls operated by hand cranks, allowing Comedor to open completely to the outdoors.
The driving idea for Comedor was a design that orchestrates between interior and exterior spaces. The protected inner courtyard allows the restaurant to open up completely during those great Austin nights, but also feel protected from the urban situation just outside.Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA
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