Arcadian Food & Drink celebrates the dining experience as theater, setting a dynamic stage within an existing building where guest are both audience and cast. This adaptive reuse restaurant, located in Cleveland, Ohio’s recently revitalized Gordon Square Arts District, resides among several theaters, galleries, and local shops, helping to further activate the existing streetscape. Offering premium quality beverages and entrees, the Arcadian Food & Drink provides diners with a unique architectural experience.
Portions of the existing facade have been preserved while others have been adapted to enhance three distinct forms. An existing yellow masonry structure housing the kitchen, a new red masonry structure framing elongated views into the dining space, and a new monolithic white wedge, veiled by a perforated metal screen, contrast and compliment the existing streetscape. Pedestrians walking along Detroit Avenue view the chef’s stage as sustainable seafood and entrees are prepared through the large glass opening in the yellow masonry. Guests entering the vestibule are offered a brief glimpse of the bar as they pass through the white veil of triangles on the walls and floor, making their stage entrance.
As the audience members join the cast on stage within the restaurant, the distinct spaces begin to unfold. Greeted by views into the active kitchen area, the role of the guest waivers between audience and cast member. At a multiplicity of levels, the architecture is conceived to enhance and express a dynamic sense of movement while the materials utilized have been deployed to offer solutions that enhance the dining experience. Boundaries between spaces are blurred as the contrasting forms intertwine, folding and creasing to envelop the guests. The two story bamboo wall acts as a backdrop to the bar, unfolding to form seating in the dining area. The white ceiling folds in response to the localized structural constraints of the existing building, creating an intimate dining experience. As the surface penetrates the two story space above the bar, it folds to become a drink rail at the upper level. Guests transiting to the upper level, move along the perforated metal screen dividing the bar and stair. At the upper level, the bamboo and white surfaces frame the windows looking through the corrugated perforated screen of the facade creating a dynamic surface that changes with orientation of the view. As guests enjoy their meals their view is reoriented towards the streetscape, the city becomes the stage and theater, and the guests become the audience.