AU BON PAIN

Together with Los Angeles design firm A3LA, we were contracted to design two Au Bon Pain stores in Logan Airport—one larger store in the Main Hall and a smaller store past security in the departure area of the terminal. The challenge of this project is the integration of three independent demands into a coherent design: the demands of the signage, the client group demands and the material/structural demands.

The client for both stores consists of Au Bon Pain, Inc, the user; Westfield, the developer; and MassPort, the Administrator of Logan. Au Bon Pain was primarily concerned with maintaining brand equity and operational functionality, Westfield was concerned with a level of design consistency from all tenants and MassPort was concerned with complex systems of safety, security and operation. We analyzed Au Bon Pain’s marketing and branding, embraced the philosophy behind it and reinterpreted the given material and tectonic palette. The concept of “real food” established a transformation of given materials to “real materials”—matter instead of surface. Signage is literally fused with an open structural canopy which defines and is defined by the given parcels of space. The canopy splits to define the internal programmatic parts—splitting the dining from the food preparation/purchase area, directing the flow of the customer and operator.

The branding symbol of the sunflower, conveying “fresh,” “bright,” and “life” served as the inspiration of the design. The canopy projects a pattern onto the opposing surfaces of the space—as it would cast its shadow from the sun. This has the effect of making Au Bon Pain a sunny spot within an otherwise gray terminal.

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