Co.Design

That's Not Smoke Billowing From a BBQ Joint, But a Smoke-like Sculpture

A striking interior for a high-brow BBQ restaurant in San Francisco.

Wexler's is a barbecue pit in San Francisco but, this being San Francisco, instead of greasy pork ribs and drumsticks, they serve skate and barbecue California quail. And this being San Francisco, instead of wood shavings and hot-sauce bottles for decor, they've got an abstract sculpture, evoking barbecue smoke. (In a classy way!)

Your interpretation may vary on what it actually looks like (the underbelly of the Queen in Aliens"). Our vote is for the Lost Smoke Monster, though the San Francisco Chronicle sees ?the charred spine of a brontosaurus." In any case, this lick of high design is a feat of digital technology. Designed by SF architects Aidlin Darling, it was modeled in 3-D software then laser-cut into flat MDF fins. Each fin comes with a pair of hooks that hangs off a steel ceiling substructure, eliminating the need for extra fasteners. That gives the sculpture a clean profile — unfortunately a rarity in laser-cut design, which can often look like a junior-high science fair project. (And not in a classy way.)

The rest of the restaurant — also done by Aidlin Darling — is pretty simple with oak tables and countertops and wrought-iron chandeliers painted red (like bloody meat?). All told, the design is meant as a "narrative to highlight the innovative treatment of traditional barbeque [SIC] cuisine," in the press release's telling. In other words: This is San Francisco, dammit. We don't do normal.

[Images courtesy of Aidlin Darling]

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