Workbook: Bridging the Gap

 

Guy Martin's chair design for the LA restaurant Trois Mec merge the digital and the handmade. Image courtesy Guy Martin.

Guy Martin’s chair design for the LA restaurant Trois Mec merge the digital and the handmade. Image courtesy Guy Martin.

Trois Mec, the new Los Angeles restaurant from chef Ludovic Lefebvre (late of L’Orangerie, Bastide, Ludo Bites, and Top Chef Masters to name just a few) and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, of Animal and Son of a Gun fame, challenges the traditional approach to dining—for starters, instead of reservations, guests purchase timed tickets for entry. For our purposes, though, one of the most compelling parts of the restaurant, housed in a former pizza joint that still maintains its unassuming facade, just may be the chairs.

They’re the brainchild of designer Guy Martin, a SCI-Arc graduate, who has been quietly making a name for himself doing digital design, craft and fabrication. The assignment came about, when Lefebvre, whom he had known for over a decade, tapped him “to warm up the space,” he says and create more seating.

“The project was a bit of a dance back and forth,” recalls Martin. “We were trying to pull out organic nose to tail shapes—something organic and very sinewy.” Over the course of six months and many prototypes, a form evolved which blends a light, translucent chair with carved mahogany legs. “We started doing very basic work and went through about 10 concepts,” he recalls. The end result “bridges the gap between a strong digital aesthetic with handcrafted notions.”

Martin’s chairs for Trois Mec mark a return of sorts to his roots. A Louisiana native, he had his own furniture line for several years prior to moving to Los Angeles. “When I came here for grad school and started the architectural fabrication company, the furniture took a back seat for a while as I learned new technologies and techniques,” he explains. “Now I’m releasing things into the public a bit more.”

Speaking of restaurants, you still have a few weeks left to vote for the Restaurant Design Awards People’s Choice category. Head over to the AIA|LA Web site and make your voice heard!

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