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  New York Pizza Department (NYPD)New York Pizza Department (NYPD)

Architect & Interior Design

Lightvox Studio
1729 E. Osborn Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

General Description

Location: Tempe, Arizona
Date Bid: Jan 2014 Construction Period: Apr 2014 to July 2014
Total Square Feet: 2,338 Site: N/A
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 2,338; total, 2,338 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 17’ 4”; total, 17’ 4”.
Basic Construction Type: Tenant Build Out.
Foundation: Pier & grade beam, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall, precast concrete. Roof: Built up. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Project Team

Structural Engineer: BDA Engineers - 7047 E. Greenway Parkway, #250, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Mechanical Engineer: Associated Mechanical Engineers - 1505 W. University Drive, #101, Tempe, AZ 85281
Electrical Engineer: Woodward Engineering - 203 S. Smith Road, #101, Tempe, AZ 85281
General Contractor: Symmetry Construction - 218 W. Orchid Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85021
Food Service: Landmark Kitchen Design, LLC - 1900 W. Chandler Boulevard, #15-373, Chandler, AZ 85224

Rebranding this concept restaurant was the basis of the architect's task. The New York Pizza Department (NYPD), an Arizona based and locally operated restaurant had successfully expanded its reach with a growth spurt that yielded multiple locations in the greater Phoenix area. Looking to position itself at the heart of the Mill Avenue corridor - a thriving urban street near Arizona State University's Tempe Campus and a new development epicenter - the restaurant's management wanted to refresh the interior environment and décor to align its brand with the younger demographic and to better reflect the quality of their food offerings, hand crafted New York style pizza.

Given the more urban location and density along the Mill Avenue corridor the available space was smaller than the restaurant's typical suburban footprint of about 3,400 square feet. For this project the selected site was a narrow bay on the ground floor of a recently completed eight-story building, a tenant suite of approximately 2,200 square feet. The design challenge called for reducing the restaurant's footprint without hindering operations or compromising the number of guests that could be hosted, while adapting to a suite not originally intended for restaurant use.

The design team's focus was initially directed towards resolving the technical issues brought on by very limited existing shaft space available with the understanding that code requirements would demand a "type 1" kitchen hood to be fully exhausted to the outside. An early estimate of the cost of introducing a new eight-story fully sealed duct into the shaft indicated a "premium" of up to $100k to the project. Additionally it was important to determine the viability of the project and ensuring that the exhaust requirements could be met was a big part of it.

Early space studies were used to validate the more streamlined kitchen design and seating capacity. An equipment platform was created above the walk-in cooler to help preserve valuable floor area. The platform also provided additional storage and can accommodate a small desk. Consideration was also given to the operational model, a combination of dine-in full-service service with ready to be served "by the slice" lunch selections. A central community bar became the core of the dining space and worked to provide additional seating while partially concealing the "lunch ordering counter", making the dining room have the desired full-service restaurant atmosphere.

The interior palette sought to create an inviting environment with wood becoming an obvious choice. Rather than adding more materials or finishes, the wood was treated by means of torching it to achieve differing degrees of "char" - from medium ambers at the table tops to fully blackened for the bar siding. In this way an economy of materials and type of labor was attained. Additional features of the restaurant included a custom wine rack made from welded wire fabric and a "wooden pizza peels" acoustic ceiling treatment. The architect, contractor and other craftsman worked closely to produce a space that uses the rustic quality of the wood as a backdrop to a few, more polished, items creating an atmosphere that captures the spirit of a hand tossed stone oven baked pizza - made in Arizona, inspired by New York.

Product Information
Entrances & Storefronts: Arcadia
Interior: Okite Quartz Surfaces, White Oak Wood, Kaiser Tile, MDC LiquaPearl Paint, Dunn Edwards
Flooring: Daltile
Lighting: Bruck, Lithonia, Intense, Axis, Winscape

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