In approaching the interior design for Donna Mac, the team at Sarah Ward Interiors aimed to create a space that embodied modest simplicity, and turned to Brutalist architecture for inspiration. The term originates from the French word for raw, paralleling the philosophy of humility and resourcefulness valued by the Donna Mac owner group. The design focuses on strong, geometric forms with interest through materiality. The rawness is reflected through the use of humble materials, like hickory, leather, cork, and brick, and it’s this combination of textures that give the space warmth. Every material is honest and pure in its own form, used in the simplest way possible. The goal wasn't so much to create wow factor as it was to create an environment that was restrained and sensual.
The designers collaborated closely with the ownership team and also graphic designer Marc Rimmer to ensure every detail was aligned with the experience that Donna Mac offers. The graphic materials feature soft colours and a fluid script font and the interior acts in contrast to that. The clean and timeless architecture of the space also supports the continually changing inspiration and culinary exploration that customers can expect at Donna Mac. In an effort to support the local arts community and truly reflect the neighborhood that Donna Mac is a part of, local ceramicist Becky McMaster was commissioned to create the custom dishware for the restaurant.
Completed November 2017, Calgary, Alberta
Clients: Jeff Jamieson & Jesse Willis