All Square, Minneapolis

Designed by: Architecture Office
For client: Emily Turner, CEO All Square Floor area: 102.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Social Award

14Allsquare Crop
© Caylon Hackwith

Storefront Window: The view through the storefront window exhibits a layers of three dimensional scenes that depict physical and illusory relationships projected atop its’ surface. Altogether, the positions, framing, and lighting produce a mies en scene

About the Project

All Square is a restaurant in Minneapolis that employs individuals with criminal records who are in need of educational and professional opportunities. The restaurant, converts 900-square-feet into a vibrant, open, community-oriented space for fast-casual dining. It is for a nonprofit organization, whose restaurant will help to offset the costs for the counseling and education services they provide to their employees.

To give the mission of All Square a physical presence, the design plays with layers of everyday elements - such as frames, mirrors and LED lights - to connect and distinguish people and objects in the restaurant. They create visual relationships in the moments of looking at, in, or through the material interventions.

Within the open floorplan the new insertions organize the room while creating planned and unplanned opportunities for engagement. Setting the stage for an opinion about someone or something by compelling the occupants to look closely at the other side. For example: the frame is an object that both separates and links; the mirrors reflect the subject into a double position; and the neon lights act as the source for continuous painterly effects. Altogether, the positions, framing, depth, and lighting produce a mies en scene with many viewpoints. They construct a framework for seeing objects and things but from another point of view.

What’s unique about it

To combat rising recidivism, All Square is a professional institute whose workforce development and training aim to reduce recidivism while generating a pool of skilled professionals. To give the social mission of All Square an architectural presence, the layers of insertions – the frames, mirrors, and lighting – create a constellation of scenes that unsettle the occupants by forcing the visitors to look at themselves from another point of view. Calling attention to the fact that we are all criminals: in the United States 1 in 4 people have a criminal record; and 4 of 4 have a criminal history. The spaces set the stage for a renewed opinion about someone or something by looking again at the other side.

The project highlights the multiple identities of architectural form. For example: within the open floorplan the freestanding frames set up an imaginary plane to transverse: for payment to be procured, food to be passed through, and drinks to be shared. In lieu of walls, they work to partition, highlight, and unify the interactions and encounters between people in the restaurant. When seen through the existing storefront, the frames with neon lights casts a continuous glow that influences the view of the events happening in the space.

Due to a modest budget, the project strategically inserts new elements alongside existing materials in a 95-year-old building. Setting an example for the built identity of the restaurant for future expansions.

© Caylon Hackwith

Mirrors: The entry wall visually disappears, guests stare at themselves and at others, and the act of ordering is reflected around the room. Altogether the mirrors act as additional visual realms sited within the restaurant that work together to bring i

© Caylon Hackwith

The project deploys the frame and mirror as elements sited within the space. Each duo is nearly a square and are the same size; they work in groups to create many points of focus, many places to sit, many people to watch, and many barriers to cross.

© Caylon Hackwith

Detail of the Frame to Mirror connection.

© Caylon Hackwith

Mirrors: Inward-looking mirror planes are positioned along the perimeter to reflect the same scene but from a different perspective; collapsing the worker with the visitor and connecting one with the other in the process.

01Allsquare Alt
© Caylon Hackwith

Frames: The composition of the frames takes on multiple viewpoints in the space. Physically, the frame are objects that both separates and links the space you occupy, with the space beyond, and the space within the frame. They are located to distinguis

© Caylon Hackwith

48” LED Light with Theatre Gels: The LED tubes simultaneously reinforces the definition of the frame, and act as the source for continuous painterly effects to spread across existing and intervening materials.

180812 Allsquare Floorplan


180816 Allsquare Persp Elevation

Section Perspective looking at the Open Kitchen

180801 Picture Plane Diagrams

Picture Plane Diagram: While we typically understand the picture plane as an imaginary plane that sites another space within the realm we occupy. The planes of All Square take on a collection of qualities that are specific to its’ material (mirror and fr

Location of project:
Architecture Office

Whittier Advertising

Pedal Design Lab

Opifex Construction

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