HOSPITALITY DESIGN: Multi-colored Slate Adds Flair to Restaurant Design

March 13, 2006
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The walls throughout P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Seattle, WA, were designed with 12- x 12-inch African Multi-Color slate tiles from American Slate Co. of Walnut Creek, CA.


Fiery shades of slate were added to spice up P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Seattle, WA, and to contrast the preexisting sandstone floor

Situated in Westlake Center, in the heart of downtown Seattle, WA, P.F. Chang's China Bistro was designed with warm hues of sandstone and slate. The Restaurant Studio division of MBH Architects of Alameda, CA, and the design team at P.F. Chang's collaborated on the project.

A long colorful slate “anchor wall” serves as an interior visual connection between the two levels of the restaurant, which includes a dining section below and a bar area above.
According to Miriam Marchevsky, project manager of Restaurant Studio, the design goal was to “complement the vitality and energy of this destination city with an approachable design for stylish, yet comfortable dining.” She said that the restaurant incorporates contrasting textural elements of the existing site with the P.F. Chang's aesthetic. “The restaurant features a curvilinear environment of rich, natural textures along with a warm inviting palette of colors and fabrics,” said Marchevsky.

An existing sandstone floor was re-used, and 6,000 square feet of 12- x 12-inch African Multi-Color autumn-colored slate tiles from American Slate Co. were added to the space as wall tile. Marchevsky describes the slate as having “a variety of warm earth tone hues with orange/fiery pieces.”

“The African Multi-Color slate was chosen specifically for its fiery quality,” said Miriam Marchevsky, project manager of Restaurant Studio. “We felt that given the often gloomy weather in Seattle, it would serve as a beacon of warmth through the large exterior windows.”
The project manager said that a long colorful slate “anchor wall” serves to create an interior visual connection between the two levels of the restaurant, which include the dining section below and bar area above. Slate was also used on walls at both entrances.

Overall, the restaurant features 6,000 square feet of slate.
“Stone played a very important role,” said Marchevsky. “The fiery slate provided contrast to the 'crisp' floor and created a very warm feeling. It also served to unify the two levels of the restaurant, and is one of the main visual features in the space.

The project also included the re-use of an existing sandstone floor.
“The African Multi-Color slate was chosen specifically for its fiery quality,” she continued. “We felt that given the often gloomy weather in Seattle, it would serve as a beacon of warmth through the large exterior windows.”

According to Marchevsky, the design goal was to “complement the vitality and energy of this destination city with an approachable design for stylish, yet comfortable dining.”
The design team at P.F. Chang's worked in conjunction with MBH Architects to choose the materials and evaluate the options. “The existing P.F. Chang's aesthetic incorporates contrasting textural elements and evokes feelings of 'warm fuzzies',” said the project manager. “This look is often achieved with the use of slate and stone veneer, mixed with rich woods, customs glass and colorful murals.”

Since opening, the restaurant has been well received in the neighborhood, according to Marchevsky.

The rough texture of the stone, combined with its unique blend of colors, brought dimension and character to the dining space.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro

Seattle, WA

Architect: MBH Architects (Restaurant Studio), Alameda, CA, in conjunction with P.F. Chang's design team

Stone Supplier: American Slate Co., Walnut Creek, CA (African Multi-Color slate)

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