International architecture firm, SOMA Architects, was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design or Renovation in North America on May 4 for their design of Workshop Kitchen and Bar in Palm Springs, Calif.
Completed in 2012, Workshop Kitchen and Bar features a 35-foot long communal table along the center aisle which acts as a public space, while concrete booths provide more intimate dining for patrons. A private dining area includes a monolithic altarpiece and space for large gatherings. Throughout, custom light fixtures created in collaboration in PS Lab elegantly compliment the robust interior.
“Our goal was to create a fresh new architectural identity to correspond the Workshop Kitchen and Bar,” said SOMA Principal Michel Abboud, who accepted the award on behalf of the firm. “We treated the existing historical building with the utmost respect. Our design approach was a simple insertion of poured-in-place cast concrete brutalist elements using an ecclesiastic design approach.”
The James Beard Awards are the most prestigious and exclusive awards in all aspects of the food industry, honoring chefs, restauranteurs, cookbook authors, food journalists, restaurant designers and architects, and more. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards have become the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in America.