Buena Onda / CORE architecture + design


© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran
  • Architects: CORE architecture + design
  • Location: 1901 Callowhill St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Lead Architects: Allison Cooke, Hilary Miners
  • Area: 2400.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2015
  • Photographs: Michael Moran
  • General Contractor: CVM Next Construction
  • Food Service Consultant: Feustel Foodservice Design, LLC
  • Mep Engineer: hpe GROUP, LLC
  • Millwork: Meline Woodworking Inc & Atreus Works
  • Branding And Logo: Weholden
  • Graphic And Menu Design: Seth Design Group
  • Exterior Signage: Baker the Sign Man

© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran

From the architect. James Beard award-winning Chef Jose Garces wants guests to feel as though they have traveled to the relaxing and vibrant beach towns of coastal Mexico while dining at Buena Onda, a taqueria and margarita bar. Inspired by the ambiance of Acapulco and color blocking of Luis Barragan, CORE worked closely with Chef Garces to find the right balance of color and texture for each of the restaurant’s distinct elements.


Floor Plan

Floor Plan

The spaces of Buena Onda are defined by volumes and their different materials – the “X” or lattice pattern of the Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU), wood slats, stacked tile, and a raked plaster texture. The distinctive colors of cool blues and warm whites with a pop of citrus yellow create differentiation amongst the surfaces, in addition to their varied textures.


© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran

The wood canopy volume above the bar references a “palapa,” a traditional grass-thatch hut found on the beaches of Mexico. Acapulco chairs were also studied, and take form in the shape of custom feature pendant lights cascading throughout the dining space.


© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran

The playful yet calming palette, the reinterpretation of Acapulco chairs as custom light pendants, and elevation of humble materials found in Mexico were developed as a signature kit of parts for future restaurant roll out an application.


© Michael Moran

© Michael Moran

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