February 12, 2018

Seattle’s Wild Ginger Enlists SkB Architects for a New Restaurant That Evokes Their First

The pan-Asian restaurant Wild Ginger has been a mainstay of the Seattle area’s dining scene for more than twenty years, with multiple locations and critical raves. When its owners decided to relocate its Bellevue spot to a more intimate space in Lincoln Square South, they approached a local firm with the idea of returning to the spirit of their very first eatery.

The bar canopy’s metallic finish from Scuffmaster glitters under Kreon spotlights; the custom car chairs are by Asti. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.

“We weren’t interested in creating a thematic experience,” says SkB Architects principal and co-founder Kyle Gaffney. “The challenge was how to transform the successful concept pioneered in the original, large-format restaurant downtown to meet the needs of current dining trends.” 

A teak vestibule, with bold bronze door handles by Forms+Surfaces, announces the 6,000-square-foot space; towards the rear, a line of tables between rows of booths can be configured into a communal space for parties or small groups. In back, custom sliding wood doors can create a private dining room flooded with natural light. 

SkB used the concrete walls as canvas for murals inspired by oriental carpets, illuminated by pendants within San Juan Ventures’ custom painted metal wire sculptures. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.

The real action, though, is up front, where a lounge area open to the street offers leather-wrapped bench seating and rattan arm chairs. “Bellevue has a strong cocktail scene,” Gaffney says, so SkB put the teak bar in clear view, with a striking column clad in copper tubing—the perfect place to start a new happy hour tradition.

Teak screens with interiors of painted MDF space out of the bamboo plywood booths. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.
Teak tables rest on nylon rugs from Ege Carpets. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.
A bench by OOKKUU and accent wall of patinated copper cladding greets diners. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.
A new operable storefront and wood ledger establishes street presence, as does signage in aluminum open pan channel letters with neon. Photography courtesy of SkB Architects.

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