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Grace Restaurant

Lawton Stanley Architects

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Project Description


Grace is located in the restaurant row of the west loop of Chicago. The design takes an approach towards material and construction inspired by Chef Duffy’s approach to cuisine. Exotic culinary technique is secondary to the honest expression of each ingredient’s natural flavor. Brown ash, honed stone, undyed wool & leather, oil-rubbed bronze, and patinaed steel present their individual character in a natural, minimally finished state. These materials combine at key moments along the entry sequence, creating functionally articulated elements. After passing thru the translucent glass and perforated steel entrance vestibule, the host desk top descends from a shift in the ceiling planes, to meet the base which sprouts from the floor. A ramping passage wrapped in patinaed panels ascends to the lofty dining room, where each table’s individual decanter stand cradles a wine bottle and decanter, carved to fit their shape. The kitchen overlaps the dining room, a glass box with glossy white and stainless steel interiors visible within.

For more information about the James Beard Awards for Restaurant Design, please read


This restaurant interior distinguished itself by the restraint that guided selections of color and materials. “There was a command of the palette throughout the restaurant,” one juror
noted. “This kind of follow-through creates an excellent atmosphere for dining.” The cuisine at the West Loop restaurant focuses on an honest expression of each ingredient’s
natural flavor. The architects attempted to reflect that authenticity by using materials in a minimally finished state—brown ash, honed stone, un-dyed wool and leather, oil-rubbed
bronze, and patinated steel. “It’s a demonstration of high design mirroring the personality of the work that’s being done in the space,” a juror said. The jury singled out the integration of columns into the furnishings for special attention.

For more information about the 2014 AIA Chicago Small Projects Awards, please read
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