Arch11 Designs Eco-friendly Stanley Marketplace Outpost for Sazza Pizzeria
Architecture firm’s artisanal approach matches restaurant’s commitment to sustainability
The new Sazza restaurant at the Stanley Marketplace will feature a series of pivoting steel and glass doors allowing for unobstructed flow and visibility through the space when open and symbolizing the restaurant’s commitment to food, collaboration and community (images courtesy of Arch11).
When Denver restaurateur Jeff Rogoff was invited to open a second, larger incarnation of his successful Sazza super-sustainable pizzeria in Stanley Marketplace – an intriguing food-centric collective developing in a converted former aviation manufacturing plant in Aurora, Colorado – he turned to Arch11. The award-winning Boulder/Denver architecture firm has designed a long list of top local eateries including Jax, Zolo, Lolas, Bitter Bar and Oak at Fourteenth, which consistently ranks high on Eater Denver and 5280 top restaurant lists. And Arch11’s embrace of eco-friendly design was an ideal fit for Sazza, which devotes its menu to all-natural, organic and sustainable sources.
With a space nearly twice the size of its 10-year-old original Greenwood Village, Colo., location and a vision to include a community room for classes and demonstrations, Rogoff’s new restaurant – set to open May 30th – needed to clearly convey his passion for sustainable food practices and intentionally foster community both inside and out.
“We were tasked with creating a dynamic space that represents Sazza’s commitment to food production and locally sourced ingredients,” says Arch11 architect Nathan Gulash, who used many local artisans to execute the plans. “In order to tell their story,” he adds, “you have to be able to see everything.”
To achieve this level of transparency, Gulash and Arch11 principal James Trewitt developed a series of 15- and 18-foot-tall glass and steel louvers for the restaurant’s entry. In lieu of a standard storefront, the kinetic door system, fabricated by Denver’s Corvus Design Build, rotates gently to open the entire front of the restaurant. “It diminishes the delineation between the restaurant and the public it wishes to interact with,” explains Gulash. “The doors become a functional metaphor for Sazza’s transparency, process and mission.” Further evidence of the restaurant’s environmental commitment is its 35-foot service counter, clad in beetle kill pine, where the origin of all ingredients will be displayed – including some from Sazza’s own on-site, half-acre farm.
Additional restaurant highlights will include tables made from salvaged 18-wheeler truck beds, glasses repurposed from wine bottles and light fixtures rescued from the original Stanley building and retrofitted with LEDs. Even the gas-fired pizza oven had a previous life, yet functions perfectly for Sazza’s thin crust pizzas.
The light and airy restaurant will also feature an outdoor patio and community room where classes, demonstrations and get-togethers can be held. Education is central to Sazza’s mission. “Everyone should know where the food is coming from,” says Sazza owner Rogoff. “If they ask us, we can tell them exactly.”
Arch11’s stylish design for the Stanley Marketplace Sazza is one in a long list of the firm’s contributions to the region’s thriving dining and drinking scene. Other recent Arch11 restaurant designs include such favorites as the Platte Valley’s Brider and Cherry Creek’s Blue Island Oyster Bar. For Brider, Chef Steven Redzikowski (Eater Denver’s 2015 Chef of the Year; Food & Wine regional "People's Best New Chef") and restaurateur Bryan Dayton – the successful partners behind award-winning Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder – enlisted Arch11 to design their newest fast-casual rotisserie restaurant. Inspired by traditional open markets, the Arch11 design creates a timeless “old world” kitchen feel. A layering of textures, geometric wall planes and custom built-ins, along with bright and classic furnishings mingle the old-soul feel with a clean modernism that matches the neighborhood’s renewed vitality.
For Blue Island Oyster Bar., Arch11 repeat client Concept Restaurants decided to bring an authentic oyster bar to the Denver market and wanted a space to match its aspirations. Taking cues from well-worn beach-side oyster joints, Arch11 created a comfortable, communal atmosphere in the swank Cherry Creek North neighborhood that referenced seaside roots while successfully leaving nautical cliché behind – and won a spot on Eater Denver’s top five “stone-cold stunner” designs of 2015.
The Arch11 team is also behind the elegant Humboldt and upscale Ballpark watering hole Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and is currently working on the design for Bryan Dayton’s Corrida, a Spanish Basque country-influenced rooftop restaurant in Boulder planned for a Fall 2017 opening. That restaurant will feature one of Boulder’s only unobstructed views of the famed Flatiron rock formations.
Arch11’s approach to restaurant design – allowing the dining space to celebrate the food and the chefs who are creating it rather than inventing an overpowering atmosphere – provides a refreshing direction for chefs and restaurant groups hoping to capitalize on Denver and Boulder’s ever-maturing palate.