The design of this beachside 4,700 sf Mellow Mushroom draws from the Bossa Nova music scene and surrounding culture of mid-century Rio de Janeiro and the iconic Copacabana Beach. Replacing existing hotel indoor & outdoor pools facing Virginia Beach’s main thoroughfare Atlantic Avenue, the project’s exterior flying V columns are reminiscent of Brazilian Brutalist architecture. The sloped entries accommodate grade changes surrounding the site’s sunken 3,500 sf outdoor bar and patio, taking cues directly from the lush tropical beaches and Ipanema Beach boardwalk. Year-round sail-like shades cover the boardwalk beach party and surrounding green walls create a welcoming respite from the hot beach sun. A 14-foot diameter spinning steel globe draws guests from the nearby beach and is reminiscent of the world-famous brutalist architecture of Brasilia, while the two-story Madsteez mural depicting the Girl from Ipanema lights up the Avenue for several blocks. Upon entering the restaurant, one is greeted by a glass-enclosed porch, capable of opening fully into the restaurant and onto the patio, creating a year-round space connecting all of the unique spaces. Inside, a tropical, mid-century design motif transports patrons back to the nostalgia of the Bossa Nova scene. Skewed palm tree columns penetrate decorative skylights above, recalling the glitz and glamour of mid-century tropical resorts. Rich, dark wood, representing teak cladding found throughout Brazil, clad the walls and ceilings both inside and outside of the full height storefront, blurring the line between interior and exterior. Ipe louvers shade the interior from passersby along Atlantic Avenue, but create a sense of intrigue. Retro-gilded screen walls, burnt oranges, pale pinks, mint greens and brass complete the palette of the era. Floral artwork and wallcovering, live tropical plants, and handmade pottery of the era provide bursts of color and whimsy.
HRACRE Excellence in Development Design Award
Best Restaurant/Eatery/Bar - Award of Merit