Spicing Things Up

By Miyoko Ohtake / Published by Dwell
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Chipotle’s recent approach to restaurant design aims to transform the traditionally tasteless experience of eating fast food into something more refined.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is known for its gargantuan burritos. This year the company is refining its image and rolling out a modern store design created by Architecture Outfit founder Thaddeus Briner. "Chipotle’s restaurants didn’t parallel the ideology of the food," he says of the old corrugated panels and exposed ductwork. Briner developed a "kit of parts": a recipe book for what the eateries will be made up of. So what can you expect with your carne asada?

Chipotle Restaurant, Location: New York NY, Architect: Architecture Outfit

Key to Image:

A. The box
AC fir plywood wall panels form boxes that house banquettes, bathrooms, condiment stations, and more.

B. Fast seating
High stools and family-style tables offer a moment’s repose for a quick bite on the go.

C. Slow seating
Banquettes create space for longer lunchtime meals with lighting meant to mimic candlelight.

D. LED lighting
LED and fluorescent lighting fixtures placed over eating areas create intimate atmospheres.

E. Art
Scaled-up work by longtime Chipotle collaborator Bruce Gueswel hangs near most windows to draw in guests.

Miyoko Ohtake


When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.

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