Project of the Year - Interior Design/Tenant Improvement

The L’Etoile and Graze restaurants occupy the southwest corner of the first floor of the U.S. Bank building, a large all-glass fa�ade building in Madison’s Capital Square.

Photo: Mike Rebholz
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The restaurants needed their own entrance into their new location in the building, but entrance from the street was restricted by two large concrete stair towers from the building’s original 1970s construction.

It was determined that two side-by-side stairs were not required for egress, but were actually an architectural feature from the original design and only one of the stairs was needed to maintain egress.

The solution was to remove the stair to the north. After two weeks of heavy night demolition, the northern stair was removed and a new grand entrance lobby to the space was created.

Many of the architectural features of L’Etoile and Graze are designed to capture the local, rural countryside atmosphere that also inspires each menu.

In the center of the L’Etoile dining area is a round bar, which in its original concept was to mimic the look of the old glazed block silos that cover Wisconsin’s landscape.

After several iterations, a seemingly obvious solution was proposed to construct the round bar: find and dismantle an actual glazed block silo and reassemble it for L’Etoile.

After a short search, a silo was found in Reedsburg, Wis. Following a long weekend of heavy lifting, the silo had been dismantled and brought to the jobsite.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Urban Land Interests, Madison, Wis.
GC: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., Madison, Wis.
Architect: Valerio Dewalt Train, Chicago
Structural Engineer: Robert Darvas Associates, Ann Arbor, Mich.
MEP Engineer: Environmental Systems Design Inc., Chicago

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