Verdura is a fresh salad concept, from the ground up. Owner Trevor Griffin wanted to work with traditional, old world elements and we knew that this had to fit in the modern urban context of Vancouver. It is this dichotomy that was the impetus for the design. The greatest challenge was the site, it is narrow, with a ceiling soaring above 25 feet, that’s almost three storeys in height. This is not conducive to an intimate, old-world feel. However, there are qualities to the existing space, such as natural light and an open airiness that are sublime.

To maintain and take advantage of the quality of light and airiness of the space, we devised a design strategy of a room within a room. This approach gives us the ability to manage the size of the space and simultaneously create a canvas for intimacy, old world and modern elements, to all exist in harmony. A thin, light, curved metal frame forms the implicit ‘room’ as greenhouse. This lowers the perception of the ceiling to about 11 feet high, a more human scale. The green house grid is intentionally orthogonal and rhythmic, but with some randomness to avoid becoming rigid. We then layered on wood textures in a herringbone pattern, arching window like curves, planters with integrated lighting and a long communal table to unify and draw the eye into the space.

The final result is a space that responds to it’s context, creating elements of an intimate and old-world feel in a modern, abstracted context.

Photography | Krista Jahnke