Bryan Voltaggio's splashy Range restaurant has its official opening today at last in Chevy Chase. You can see images of the restaurant above. The large undertaking spans 14,000 square feet, with a focus on pastas, meats, pizzas, seafood and more. Eater interviewed Elizabeth Hafner, senior designer for Collective Architecture, to learn some design details about the restaurant's layout.
1) Hafner collaborated with local firm StreetSense on the project. StreetSense oversaw communal areas including the light wall and atrium.
2) The architect's biggest goal for the restaurant was to make sure that it "felt welcoming" because of the sheer size of the space. "We didn't want to make it feel like the place was too fancy or too imposing," she said.
3) One of the biggest challenges for the design was to make sure that the layout wasn't confusing, particularly because there are two entrances. The placement of the bar was near one entrance, while the entrance closer to the mall area is where the coffee stations and retail was stationed. That way, hotel guests could run in and out for breakfast or purchases without being thrust into the restaurant activity, she said.
4) The various stations of the restaurant are supposed to be the focal points of Range. One is the kitchen, another is the raw bar. "Wherever you're sitting in the space, you have a fairly decent view," she said.
5) The natural, woody elements of the design theme came from Bryan Voltaggio, who doesn't like a lot of splashy color. "Bryan's big on a warm and natural feel," she said.
6) There is, however, an accent color, which Hafner calls "butternut squash." The restaurant intentionally used a different accent color than Volt, Voltaggio's other restaurant, which has splashes of orange throughout.
7) Range's design is meant to shy away from any big restaurant design trends that might eventually become passé. "We wanted to make sure anything we did still looks good five, ten years from now," she said. Those items that might need to change over time were designed to be easy to switch out, such as fabric on the banquette.
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