Newsletter Subscription
Print Subscription
Change Address
Open> Restaurant
A-Frame by Knibb Design
The designers opened up the former IHOP's dreary interior with a full-height space lit by a wall of windows.
Courtesy Knibb Design
Knotty pine walls offer a suitably sleek-yet-rustic aesthetic.

12565 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California
Tel: 310-398-7700
Designer: Knibb Design

Bringing adaptive reuse to a whole new level, Venice architects Knibb Design have transformed a former IHOP in Culver City into one of the most anticipated new restaurants in LA. And that’s not just because it will be serving food from chef Roy Choi, of Kogi BBQ fame. The firm performed a balancing act: deconstructing much of the building to create a modern new space while maintaining the original structure, a tall A-frame that most of us who have had a short stack at IHOP can relate to. The restaurant’s spartan aesthetic of bleached knotty pine walls, exposed beams, and concrete floors replaces a cramped and tacky combination of painted plaster and dispiriting wall-to-wall carpet. The architects opened up the space—which never took advantage of the roof height before—and flooded it with light thanks to a large window wall that fills out almost the entire envelope. “The original building was extremely well engineered to the point where you could just about open the entire interior,” explained principal Sean Knibb. The firm added a contemporary touch by fitting the kitchen’s wall on the other side with a black textured laminate surface, and converted much of the parking lot into an outdoor patio and garden.

Sam Lubell