Anders Lasater Architects

Urbun Burger

Awarded the 2016 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for the 2016 Featured Category: Food Service

The AIAOC Awards jury unanimously applauded the reductive clarity of purpose and pure design that yielded a clean, singular piece of architecture. They noted that the architect had developed a subtle dialog with the finish materials that turns inside out, and outside in masterfully creating a space that feels well suited to beach-side dining. The clear ideas and strong architectural detailing proposed made this project one of the jury's favorites.

Conceived as a modern, beach inspired interpretation of the hamburger stands and drive-ins of the 1950s, Urbun Burger in Laguna Beach is a study in simplicity and order. A long, white shoebox form is bisected by a vertical wood screen that organizes the two main spaces of the restaurant: service at the front and dining at the back. The inside is revealed to the street by a rectangular "cookie cutter" window that punctures a deep hole in the front wall of the space, framing the diners at the bar within.

The walk-up window near the front door makes lunch an easy stop for beach goers heading to the sand just steps away while the doors of the back area open wide to create a "neighborhood dining room" where friends and family gather to enjoy the warm sun of the afternoon or a warm fire in the evening. Staying true to its inspiration Urbun is a simple roadside hamburger stand, but its simplicity is its strength.

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