When Cara McConnell set out to design downtown L.A.’s California Chicken Cafe—an American rotisserie chain—she looked north for lighting. “We wanted a clean, playful, but laboratory-like feel to the interior,” she says. McConnell recalled seeing Vancouver’s Andlight at an exhibition a few years earlier, and thought their LED lighting was the perfect mix of function and whimsy.
The restaurant’s cafeteria-like seating area is open-concept, with muted blue micro-cement benches and a mix of crisp, white Corian and solid-maple butcher block tabletops. It’s a practical design—but potentially very loud, says Caine Heintzman, co-founder of Andlight. Marigold Slab pendants designed by Lukas Peet do double duty in the space: they provide light and regulate the racket. (The pendants have a large surface area and are enveloped in organic merino wool felt, which is absorptive to sound.) “It’s a very big, open space, so the Slab light is a great one because it’s able to help contain the bouncing noise,” says Heintzman.
Another of Andlight’s creations, the Pipeline series, also became a staple in the café. The slick, modular lights line the ordering area, keeping sightlines into the kitchen clear. “Part of the restaurant’s brand is to be very honest about what they are making,” explains Heintzman, “and that openness is something we consider—we don’t want to obstruct that.” Outside on the patio, the slim lights culminate in one single statement light: the CM9 chandelier. This major eyecatcher is constructed from several Pipeline lights connected together. “This orientation invites a lot more engagement,” says Heintzman, who designed the series himself.
The fresh space echoes the utilitarian vibes of a kitchen, with colourful quirks that keep it from looking clinical. The collaboration was an easy fit, says Heintzman. “They have this technical functionality and a bit of playfulness, which are values that we share in our brand as well.”