Featured: 2017 Commercial Design Awards

filed under Branding, Environmental Design, Restaurants



Best New Development or Renovation–Restaurant

When it comes to building redesign, this is one Lucille that has very little ’splainin’ to do, but there is a backstory worth knowing. In transforming a building with industrial structural qualities into an upscale Madison bar and pizzeria, architects transitioned to a delicious reuse of a century-old brick building at the intersection of King and Pinckney streets, the apex of one of Madison’s signature triangular blocks.

Originally a 1900s-era bank, the structure has undergone multiple renovations throughout its 100-year history, often sacrificing characteristics that were originally hallmarks of the building. The latest makeover was driven by a desire to restore the building’s historical connection to the Capitol Square in keeping with the King Street neighborhood’s evolution into a vibrant entertainment district. “They took a nondescript building and strategically stepped it back and inserted a new space,” marvels one judge. “The use of materials was very elegant.”

Given the building’s location, designers felt it was extremely important that the building be open and visible from the outside. The design features windows that open to the sidewalk in warm weather months, allowing patrons to interact with pedestrians, and creates a relaxed atmosphere matching the neighborhood ambiance.

The majority of the main floor offers views to the 27-foot-ceiling and a second-floor balcony through a triangle-shaped opening. “It’s a beautiful restoration,” states one judge. “I like the way they brought it back to life by letting so much light into the space. It really opened up that space, making it more inviting. It has a more contemporary feel with railings, and the use of brick on the interior warms it up.”

Another judge compared the new building to a well-tailored garment because it acknowledges its role in the neighborhood. “They took great care with materials, which are among the great attributes of the building,” the judge opines. “They created a feeling of authenticity, which is often missing on other buildings. It’s a fun, elegant place.”

Project credits

Location: 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: Urban Land Interests
General Contractor: Ideal Builders
Architect/Interior Design: OPN Architects
Engineer: Strategic Structural Design
Consultant: Distillery Design
Photography: Mike Rebholz, Zac Dettinger
Completion Date: May 2016