The Once and Future KFCs

Last week, Architecture.mnp posted a few images of what might possibly be the nicest Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant ever built. Ever.


[above images via architecture.mnp]
The contemporary building looks like it was appropriated by the fast-food giant, but no — it was apparently designed for no other reason. Looking at this thing, I was immediately reminded of a restaurant here in San Francisco, Spork, that expresses the exact opposite condition: a building that looks like, and in fact, used to actually be a KFC, but now serves contemporary cuisine.

Approaching Spork in San Francisco’s Mission District can be a bit of a disorienting experience — almost like walking past a James Turrell piece. It feels like a fast food restaurant, yet the modern, slate grey exterior is a confusing giveaway. Named after KFC’s signature utensil, Spork retains just enough of it’s predecessor’s, uh..distinctive charm to disrupt and de-familiarize the fast-food typology.

[interior image via Metropolis]
In many ways, the owner’s decision to maintain the KFC building gives the visitor a greater appreciation for what good design can do. Check out the interior — fast food booths, but in a cool contemporary space. A subversive space at that, as Spork reverses the typical 25% dining, 75% kitchen, spatial division of the KFC. And that lighting fixture? A repurposed component of a fast food oven. Had enough yet? Well, there’s one more thing…

For an extra disruption of fast-food familiarity, Life Without Buildings recommends trying Spork’s “in-side-out burger.”

&#183 World’s nicest KFC? (Architecture? My Ninja, Please!)

[ed. note: KFC images originally via Eye Candy]

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