SHUCK SHUCK | Batay-Csorba Architects
Photo credit: SilentSama Architectural Photography
Location:Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Area: 1,200 sft
Photography: SilentSama Architectural Photography
Shuck Shuck is an interior fit-out for a new food concept in Vancouver’s Chinatown, on East Pender Street. This new concept uses oysters as a vessel, combining them with the novel, worldly ingredients, sustainable practices, and a highly social environment. Labeled as a non-traditional restaurant, the urban grazing stop strives to be the place to connect people and shellfish in transition times - after work, before dinner, and post-dinner. ShuckShuck is focused on being a draw for the oyster-lover and convert those that are oyster-adverse.
The pared-back simplicity of the interior consists of stripped-back concrete floors, exposed concrete columns, concrete ceiling, mechanical ducts, and conduits. Painted acoustic wall panels combine a uniquely rough-textured appearance with unusual durability and acoustic performance. The simplistic interior yields attention to a single architectural intervention. A 56’-0” long serpentine table floats its way through the space.
The fiber-reinforced precast concrete table mediates between the interactive qualities of a loose and casual “bar top” and the intimacy and the enveloping relationship of a “booth” that wraps around you. As a standing-only restaurant, the circulation and interaction between patrons were curated to redefine placemaking of this highly social yet intimately personal environment that allows people to connect in various ways. Depending on where a patron is standing at the table their personal sense of space and level of interaction with others varies.
The texture and finish of the table were prescribed akin to an oyster. The exterior shell, often rough, grey, and drab acts to protect the delicate pearl inside. While the underside of the concrete table is executed with a rough, pocketed finish like the oyster’s shell, the exterior has a soft, smooth, polished finish. The imperfection of the color purposely celebrating the handmade process of the material.
This rough and loutish aesthetic is further contrasted with slender exposed bulbs delicately floating in a random pattern overhead, transcending the otherwise raw and unrefined palette into a peculiarly warm and enveloping atmosphere.