TEXAS FRENCH BREAD
Texas French Bread is a time-honored institution in Austin – well-known for its popular deli counter, its hand-crafted baked goods, and fine dining. It sits on the boundary between a historic neighborhood and a dense urban area close to The University of Texas. The objective was to take their garden and underutilized picnic area and transform it into a neighborhood asset and an outdoor destination spot for its city-wide customers.
The existing property consisted of 3 distinct areas: the restaurant building, the mostly unimproved garden, and the parking lot which is a barrier between them. The vision for the project was a cross between a neighborhood pocket park and an outdoor dining terrace. The design includes a lush environment with outdoor seating for 40-50 people, strong lateral axis to link to the main entrance of the restaurant, and an entrance from the adjoining sidewalk.
A 44”-diameter live oak tree sits on the lot line between the dining terrace and a new single-family residence. Because of the potential for high-volume foot traffic on-site, the design sacrificed a large useable area under the tree canopy by creating an off-limits zone within the root zone of the tree. Materials and plants were chosen for their durability and low impact on water usage.
Chris Cobb, Charles di Piazza, Andrew Fulchear
2018 AIA AUSTIN DESIGN AWARD