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Laurel Point, Studio City, CA

When executives with Grill Concepts Inc. decided to introduce a new restaurant, Laurel Point, in the second-story space of a strip mall in Studio City in Los Angeles, California, they faced a challenging remodeling project. The business that previously occupied the location, also a restaurant, had been there for 23 years. Additionally, the footprint was relatively small. It would take expert planning and design to effectively transform the space, taking it from a 23 year old configuration to a thoroughly fresh, modern concept that would stand out as a millennial-friendly destination in a competitive market.

Kelly Architects was retained to create Laurel Point’s distinct environment that would epitomize the idea of ‘quality over quantity’ to attract loyal patrons. Taking inspiration from Norwegian boathouses for this new concept seafood restaurant, the team developed an overall design scheme intended to transport guests from the inland to the coast, echoing the exchange of “the still, warm air of the valley for the fresh, sea salted air of the ocean.”

To accomplish this unique feel and an almost journey-like effect, designers opted for open wood ceilings with lighter tones and premium surfacing materials that speak to the influence of nature in the design. The layout was configured to draw attention to the high quality elements throughout—the ceiling, the bar, the flooring, while everything else creates a subtle background. These choices and the approach to layout supported the metamorphosis of the space from a boxy unit into an open, inviting, and upscale structure.

Beyond the intriguing interiors of Laurel Point, the outdoor patio space required just as much creativity and customization, not only to create the desired look but to answer performance requirements, as well. Even in almost perpetually sunny California, materials used on outdoor surfaces must adhere to technical requirements that ensure materials exposed to the elements are sound and safe for staff and patrons. At Laurel Point, the designers specified Crossville’s Buenos Aires Mood tile collection in both textured and UPS finishes for the patio to achieve the desired look and meet technical specifications.

“The patio floor was designed to resemble a fish spine, and by using Crossville’s Buenos Aires tile in a 6″ x 36″ we were able to achieve this design while being able to work with the sloped, water proofed patio floor,” explained Jen Smith with Kelly Architects.

By specifying Buenos Aires Mood in contrasting finish options, the design team was able to meet codes for exterior spaces while attaining the look and style LA is known for. The proper blend of textured finish tiles that have exceptional DCOF (dynamic coefficient of friction) and tiles in the UPS finish answers the need for high performance surfacing suited for exterior installation without sacrificing the desired aesthetic the design team envisioned.

With thoughtful design and specification of premium materials including Crossville tile, the team behind Laurel Point’s design delivered a welcoming commercial environment. The result is a restaurant that stands out in its market by helping patrons fit right into its nature-inspired spaces that will look great and perform well for years to come.

Property Owner: Laurel Center Group/The Arba Group
Tenant: Grill Concepts, Inc
Interior Designer: Kelly Architects
Architect: Kelly Architects
GC: Global Construction
Kitchen Designer: Clay Enterprises
Mechanical Engineer: Engineer Solutions
Electrical Engineer: Llanes Engineering
Structural Engineer: Progressive Consultants