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Form vs. function in restaurant design

Foster Frable is an NRN contributor and a founding partner of Clevenger Frable LaVallee Inc. in White Plains, N.Y. He has designed more than 400 foodservice projects, including restaurants and operations in hotels, colleges and more. He can be reached at [email protected]

The mechanical engineers doing project work at a high-profile restaurant specified an air conditioner that needed to be installed 12 inches above the roofline due to its size, making it visible from certain vantage points in the outdoor eating area. Rather than accept the condition or try to camouflage it, the designers had the contractor reduce the size and, consequently, the capacity of the AC unit by one-third, making it flush with the edge of the roof and improving visual appeal.

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