2013 BOY Winner: Counter Service
McDonald’s rolls out many near-identical restaurants, of course. But with these two McCafés, Mauricio Solís Colomer aspired to nothing less than reinventing Central America’s fast-food paradigm, providing customers with a sense of uniqueness and ownership. The larger version, at 1,200 square feet, is in Guatemala’s scenic north, in a city with a name meaning a place in the clouds in the native Kekchi language. So photographs of leaves, printed on vinyl, surface the gypsum-board disks floating overhead, and the particleboard paneling is punctuated by perches for avian-kitsch red bird figurines. The El Salvador location, just 645 square feet, reaches for the same feeling of sheltering beneath trees—but in a less literal form. Solís built a canopy from hackberry wood in blocks arrayed like pixels in a 3-D grid. Light fixtures look as if a few of those blocks had been enlarged and extruded from the ceiling. We’re lovin’ it.
Roberto Melgar; José Navas.