Refined Pal • ate

Blogger: Ross Miller, Architectural Coordinator | Omaha, NE, USA
October 18, 2012

To celebrate the new banner additions to the Stored Potential  installation off I-80 in Omaha, Emerging Terrain took over the 36th Street Bridge to host Elevate, a first-of-its kind dinner celebration. The event featured 19 completely unique “elevation stations,” designed and constructed by teams of architects and local restaurants. Each station became the backdrop for an exceptional dining experience featuring local ingredients. HDR was a part of two elevation stations. This post highlights Pal • ate, the station created by HDR, Dario’s Brasserie, and Lund-Ross Constructors.

Chef Dario Schicke is well-known for his unbridled passion for Belgian beers. He is equally well-known for his exceptional talent at incorporating these soulful brews into his memorable dishes. The task of the team was to capture and translate Dario’s passion, style and creativity into built form.

Born in Sarajevo, Dario is a classically trained French chef who infuses modern techniques to create new perspectives on traditional recipes. Dario’s station materialized out of ongoing discussions and meetings (over Belgian beers and amazing food, of course) regarding materiality, economy of construction, spatial definition, transportation and unitization.

Like the chef himself, our vision was to take traditional materials and present them in unconventional ways. The station is an exploration in material tectonics and spatial design while repurposing non-traditional materials into cladding, much in the same fashion that Dario prepares his dishes. The station is fashioned out of recycled shipping pallets and steel plated ribs while the bar is formed out of used Belgian beer bottles from Dario’s Brasserie and reassembled recycling shipping pallets. Three wooden and steel modular bays frame the structure of the pavilion. Covered overhead and captured on the sides, the shaded pavilion creates an ambiance with a relaxing experience— a familiar feeling to anyone who has ever visited Dario’s Brasserie. At the conclusion of Elevate, the station’s modular design allowed for easy disassembly and distribution of the pavilion to Omaha’s urban landscape.

On the menu was cevapcici, a grilled dish of minced meat—think kebab—a popular dish in the countries of southeastern Europe and served with pita bread and sauces. Dario rethought the standard approach and served the cevapcici in pita cones, foregoing the need for plates or silverware—a decidedly modern twist on the traditional cevapcici dish.

More photos of the entire elevate experience, can be found here:

Images courtesy of HDR