From Farm to Office

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Photos by Stephen Whalen 

Featured Company: Bluemotif Architecture

Location: San Diego, California

Project Type: Corporate Cafeteria

Project Name: Green Acre at Campus Point

Corporate cafeterias generally hold a reputation for drab interiors and bland food. When creating Green Acre, the new eatery in San Diego’s Campus Point Life Sciences Building, the design team at Bluemotif decided to be anything but boring. Helmed by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey (a Top Chef finalist who also has appeared on TLC, Travel Channel, Bravo, OWN, and more), Green Acre serves farm-to-table offerings that are fresh and vibrant. We asked Matthew Ellis, president and CEO of Bluemotif, about how the company used design to fuse a professional environment with Malarkey’s exciting menu in a fun-loving restaurant.

Design Bureau: How did the project’s location play into the design?

Matthew Ellis: Campus Point is located immediately adjacent to a coastal canyon. The landscape architect was diligent about embracing the plants and materials of the canyon to incorporate into the landscape, hardscape, and the outdoor dining areas. We then took those elements and pulled them into the building to strengthen the connection. Elements such as flagstone flooring, steel and rock gabion walls, and boulders were used indoors to create visual and psychological continuity.

DB: Which detail best represents the project’s aesthetic?

ME: The project has a lot of very special details. Steel caged gabions, iron guardrails with an organic patterning, AstroTurf ceiling elements, the golden swan custom artwork wall covering, and custom glass shelving units all have their own merit and story, and are supporting elements to the base concept and aesthetic.

DB: Which elements of the design are you most proud of?

ME: This is the first project where the client really allowed us to cut loose on custom furniture. We spent a lot of energy exploring our furniture selections and details to complement the space, and even to solve spatial relationships and connections. Our steel-and-white-mahogany chairs, as well as the “bird’s nest” groupings, came out very nicely and have been well received.

DB: What is the client’s favorite design element?

ME: Near the end of the project, we added a majestic blue-and-green taxidermy peacock to the space. It was a bit unexpected, but it adds a lot of life and character to the space.

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