ID8 Studio/RTKL, Baltimore, MD
Phil Engelke (Principal in Charge), Frank Christian, Jill Popowich, Keith Kellner, Derrick Wettstein, Cheri Devlin
Robert AM Stern (architecture), T. Kondos Associates (lighting)
Zubiarte is an international retail attraction hewn from design elements that are unique to Bilbao, Spain. The city's industrial heritage is clearly referenced through the building's use of stone and brick materials, complemented by numerous steel accent elements.
ID8 Studio/RTKL looked to create an atmosphere that was an intuitive aesthetic continuation of a visit to the neighboring Guggenheim Museum. In keeping with that notion, RTKL upended traditional notions of food court design by creating a dining environment that feels like an authentic museum café. By seamlessly blending the seating and tables with pedestrian flows, the dining areas took on a much more integral, cohesive atmosphere. Bold, abstract graphics splashed across the ceilings of the food court imbue the area with a poignant vibrancy reminiscent of Miró.
"An often overlooked component of every interior space was exploited to its fullest in this bold cafe ceiling graphic. The color selection for columns and furnishings ties the space together into a unified whole."