The Shuck Shuck is an interior fit out for a new food concept in Vancouver’s Chinatown, on East Pender Street. The concept uses oysters as a vessel, combining them with novel, worldly ingredients, sustainable practices, and a highly social environment. Labelled as a non-traditional restaurant, the urban grazing stop strives to be the place to connect people and shellfish in transition times – after work, before dinner, and post dinner. ShuckShuck is focused on being a draw for the oyster-lover and convert those that are oyster-adverse.
Designed by Batay-Csorba Architects, the pared-back simplicity of the interior consists of stripped back concrete floors, exposed concrete columns, concrete ceiling, mechanical ducts, and conduits. Painted acoustic wall panels combine a uniquely rough textured appearance with unusual durability and acoustic performance. The simplistic interior yields attention to a single architectural intervention. A 56’-0” long serpentine table floats its way through the space.
The fiber-reinforced precast concrete table mediates between the interactive qualities of a loose and casual “bar top” and the intimacy and enveloping relationship of a “booth” that wraps around you. As a standing only restaurant the circulation and interaction between patrons was curated to redefine placemaking of this highly social yet intimately personal environment that allows people to connect in various ways. Depending on where a patron is standing at the table their personal sense of space and level of interaction with others varies.
The texture and finish of the table were prescribed akin to an oyster. The exterior shell, often rough, grey, and drab act to protect the delicate pearl inside. While the underside of the concrete table is executed with a rough, pocketed finish like the oyster’s shell, the exterior has a soft, smooth, polished finish. The imperfection of the colour purposely celebrating the handmade process of the material.
This rough and loutish aesthetic is further contrasted with slender exposed bulbs delicately floating in a random pattern overhead, transcending the otherwise raw and unrefined palette into a peculiarly warm and enveloping atmosphere.