2022 Restaurant Design Award: The Bungalow Kitchen by Martin Brudnizki Design StudioAuthor:Anh-Minh Le
Martin Brudnizki‘s namesake interior architecture and design practice, based in London and New York, has completed projects all over the globe, from Paris to Miami to Hong Kong. But it wasn’t until recently that he brought his talents to the Bay Area—specifically, Tiburon’s The Bungalow Kitchen. And the Marin County locale left quite an impression: “Having a morning coffee overlooking the bay, with the city in the background and seals and pelicans playing in the foreground, I felt like I had stepped into a movie,” he says.
The waterfront site informed his vision for the hybrid restaurant and community clubhouse, a partnership between acclaimed chef Michael Mina and hospitality veteran Brent Bolthouse. “Great care was taken to ensure the design and building blended with the landscape,” says Brudnizki, adding: “We knew we wanted to maximize that feeling of being so close to nature and the wonderful views across the bay.” To take full advantage of the indoor/outdoor opportunities, both sun decks boast retractable roofs as well as expansive windows that open out.
Aesthetically, Brudnizki was inspired by the town itself. “Tiburon has such an interesting history as a refuge for the beatniks, and so we looked to channel that bohemian spirit into the space—creating that mix of a restaurant that feels residential with lots of artistic accents,” he says. A rustic yet stylish custom ceramic light fixture by Heather Levine illuminates the staircase. One fireplace is lined in reclaimed ceramic tiles in bright blues and soft greens from Pasadena Craftsman Tile, while another features muralist Marissa Cianciulli’s work, which brings to mind the Bloomsbury style.
Although the overall architectural shell is consistent, the venue offers distinct environments. The lower level, which includes the restaurant, is outfitted with a variety of sofas, armchairs and dining chairs along with an eclectic array of accessories that lend personality. The upstairs “feels quite clubby with a series of intimate rooms for playing pool or relaxing by the fire—all have different finishes, furniture and accessories,” notes Brudnizki. “It’s like walking through someone’s house—each space is infused with its own character.”