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The Bachelor Farmer
The Bachelor Farmer restaurant is one component in a restored historic building that includes the Marvel Bar and retail store Askov Finlayson in addition to private meeting spaces, private dining room, and lounge spaces, each with their own unique identity yet all sharing a common sensibility toward design. The historic brick building was chosen by the owner for its distinctive character and as a gesture toward urban revitalization through meaningful reclamation of a neighborhood's authenticity. Careful and deliberate restoration of the historic building coupled with equally purposeful design decisions resulted in a project that represents a responsible and forward-thinking approach to development and a uniquely singular design.
The brick and timber building, constructed in 1881, and virtually unimproved since then, had fallen into extreme disrepair and required substantial improvements. Exterior masonry walls were largely reconstructed with great care taken to retain historical painted signage; a wood loading dock was introduced as the primary entrance after research determined one had previously existed; new windows matching the historical windows were installed; the timber structure of the building was repaired and strengthened; and new mechanical and electrical infrastructure was provided throughout, among myriad other improvements.
Many of the existing interior finishes were retained throughout with spaces designed to highlight the historic qualities of the building. At the same time, each space was given a unique identity through the careful selection of materials, colors and textures. Certain spaces such as Marvel Bar were designed to have more rich colors and patterns, while others, such as The Bachelor Farmer, were designed with a more limited palette to be more humble in character. Common throughout the design was to refrain from derivative or false historicity but, rather, let the new elements of the design stand on their own in both contrast to, and in support of, the character of the original building and its long and varied history.