A restoration project for one of the most celebrated neighborhood restaurants in San Francisco, CA, Flour+Water aims to fuse food and ingredients into the foundation of the design and architecture of the restaurant. The collaboration process with the chef/client was centered around creating a story that brought the heart of the restaurant, the kitchen, into resonance with the space. This was achieved by a careful selection of materials accompanied by lighting that brings the space and materiality to life.

Custom plaster walls with purposeful trowel lines are reminiscent of handcrafted pasta and is illuminated via a continuous perimeter light detail that traverses the dining room. The LED grazer is tucked high up and out of site, adjacent to the baffle ceiling, which accentuates the materiality of the wall and brings the texture to the forefront of the space and reinforces Flour+Water’s ethos. The ambient glow from the vertical illumination removes any unnecessary use of downlighting and provides optimal light levels for a more moodier and atmospheric dining experience.

Ceiling mounted decorative pendants are an integral focal point to the design concept – making materiality the centre stage element. The hand-crafted glass pendants mimic pizza dough, a foundational staple ingredient of the restaurant’s culinary backbone, which add an additional level of warmth, ambiance, and deepening tie to the base concept.

It was essential to the success of the project for the lighting to be holistic in nature to bring the space alive, reinforce the materiality concept, create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and establish a ‘culinary first’ attitude for its neighbourhood patrons. This was achieved through a series of mock-ups and constant collaboration between client, architect, and lighting designer. The overall outcome strengthens the creative vision of the food narrated by light and architecture concept – it has brought a revitalized feel while preserving the core values of Flour+Water.

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