Standby is an intimate restaurant with a contemporary approach to food and craft cocktails. Its owner requested that the design house and showcase major pieces in his collection by three prominent artists.
The project spans the ground and basement floors of a five-story building in the center of Detroit’s downtown. Four distinct zones of experience are created by containing the mechanical systems in a mezzanine level above the bar. The four zones (the bar, the small group seating/standing area, the booths, and the main dining area) are further defined and accentuated using a gradient of light quality.
The design sought to blend classic bar elements with contemporary art to create a dynamic space. Where possible, original building materials were used, including the tin ceiling over the main dining area, the wood floors that were patched in-place, and the existing steel beam found inside a wall during renovations, which in turn inspired the extended steel support system for the mezzanine.