Located just off the Bedford Street “L” stop in Williamsburg,
Ella Café is a new cafeteria styles restaurant in one of the hippest new areas
of New York City. Budget and timeframe were tremendously tight, greatly limiting
the products and processes available.
The scheme is pinned by a long wood wall
running the length of the space. From the ceiling, vertical boards fold at acute
angles to form a bench. This bench wall draws one from street-front to the
dining area in the back and finally, the garden area in the rear. Three
sculptural canopies zigzag across the entire space, leading one from front door
to the bar/ ordering counter, past the Kitchen in the middle of the space and
finally to the more romantic seating area in the back. Beginning from a flat
square panel, a cross incision at the center is pleated in opposite directions
of the z-axis. The panels are put together in a large grid and suspended at two
edges to form a catenary curve. Two ends are then brought together to distort
the shape into a half cone. Three of these half cones are set along the diagonal
axes described above.