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Sun and Showers Asian Bistro, Taos, NM, Architect, 2005

Sustainable, Suave and Salvaged, this restaurant starts a new chapter for a city property that had been a drive-in fast food restaurant for more than 30 years- until the franchise abandoned the old structure. After removing the decrepit metal canopy and speakers, the concrete block building was gutted and renovated for the new kitchen and a new 1200 sf dining room was added.

Inspired by heavily buttressed local churches, the building is a blend of Southwestern and Asian influences. Rather than supporting the building structurally, however, the buttresses at the Asian Bistro house the restrooms, a fireplace and a romantic dining nook. Dramatically carved panels behind the hostess desk simulate a waterfall while red willow twigs surround the wait station like dancing flames.

This green renovation uses recycled styrofoam concrete forms for the exterior walls and ceiling tiles with 72% recycled content. Natural materials such as slate, ceramic tile, red willow accents and plaster with integral dyes complete the finishes. A stylish waterless urinal reduces water usage.


Women in the Design World: Work in Progress, an exhibition presented by the Sam Fos School of Design and Visual arts in conjunction with the Women in Architecture Symposium 2014.

Pamela Freund / BA, 1985