By Steve Guntli
The restaurants at Semiahmoo Resort have undergone a complete transformation over the last year, and design organizations have taken notice.
At the INawards ceremony on October 27, the seaside resort received the 2014 INhospitality award for best interior design from the Northern Pacific Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The recently renovated Pierside Kitchen and Packer’s Oyster Bar beat out dozens of entries from restaurants and hotels throughout Alaska, Washington, Idaho and B.C.
The renovations are part of an ongoing $9 million redesign of the 35,000-square-foot resort, which began after Wright Hotels purchased the property in 2013. The restaurants opened to the public on May 16, under the supervision of new culinary director Eric Truglas.
GGLO, a design and architectural firm from Seattle, and Abbott Construction of Ferndale handled the redesign.
Representatives from the GGLO team accepted the award at the INawards ceremony at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The IIDA rates submissions based on aesthetic value, quality of construction and functional design.
The restaurants were designed to have a modern feel, while still paying homage to Semiahmoo’s history as an Alaska Packers Association cannery. IIDA’s panel of jurors praised GGLO for giving the restaurants a historic feel without going overboard. They also emphasized the view of the Salish Sea, which is on prominent display in both Packers and Pierside Kitchen.
“It’s clear that these restaurants are meant to be two different experiences, but they both belong together in the same facility and celebrate the view in a similar fashion,” said juror Mary Knopf, an architect from Anchorage, Alaska. “It was really clean and simple, so it didn’t distract from the view. You were expected to look outward and take in the exterior.”
“It looked like you could pull chairs from any different seating area,” he said. “They didn’t all match, but they all worked together. There was a consistency that wasn’t about matching, but about being appropriate and comfortable. That’s not an easy thing to do while still giving variety, especially in a large restaurant.”
Mark Andrew, general manager for the resort, said he was thrilled with the recognition.
“Both Packers and Pierside Kitchen are glowing examples of the vision and direction we’ve chosen,” he said. “GGLO and Abbott Construction did such a fantastic job.”
To view the INawards ceremony in its entirety, visit http://bit.ly/1sJEomn.
For more information on the restaurants, visit semiahmoo.com.