FLYING STAR CAFE / JUAN TABO / New Mexico AIA, 1999 Design Award

The 6,000 square foot, Flying Star Café on Juan Tabo in Albuquerque, New Mexico was designed to accommodate 200 diners as well as the restaurant’s main food preparation kitchen and auxiliary bakery.  The building was thoughtfully placed on the site to establish a sense of place and permanency in a strip shopping center world.  The design was orientated to take advantage of the spectacular views of the Sandia Mountains from indoor and outdoor dining areas.  This was established by pulling the building back from the busy road and organizing the dining around an exterior terrace oriented toward the mountains. Circulation through the building heightens the experience of the architecture and views.  Upon entering, one is greeted by the display of baked goods.  This area opens up to the main dining area, highlighted by a vaulted ceiling with a painted faux sky.  Surrounding the main dining area is a magazine browsing area with additional seating.  Large glass doors open from this main dining space to the outdoor dining terrace and mountains beyond.  The building materials are concrete, glass, metal cladding and stucco.