Feature

The GOOG Life

February 2002

GOOG is The local design and manufacturing company Patrick Ryan launched about 10 years ago. The company frequently works both as the designer and the builder, but often it functions exclusively as the builder, manufacturing pieces from other designers’ imaginations. Assembled together, GOOG’s body of work – which includes restaurants, offices, nightclubs, homes, and literally hundreds of tables, chairs, candleholders, light fixtures, and mirror frames – adds up to a fairly accurate picture of Denver’s grittiest urbane vision of itself. It’s a vision of hand-tooled, free-form shapes executed in raw steel or aluminum, a vision of muscular steel storefronts, a vision of curved plastic and concrete, a vision of manly materials finished in crisp colors.

Chances are, you’ve already seen GOOG’s work. If you haven’t dipped lamb into the mandarin orange chili mojo at Vesta Dipping Grill, perhaps you’ve stepped into the plastic and steel tubular changing rooms at Buffalo Exchange, or slipped into one of the alternating convex and concave booths at Funky Buddha Lounge, or bopped your booty at Vinyl, or swapped your old vinyl for used CDs in Boulder’s SecondSpin.com. Ryan gets around.

At Vesta, where Ryan collaborated with Denver’s Roth + Sheppard Architects, the undeniably sensual atmosphere is a nod to the restaurant’s namesake goddess. “Vesta is the goddess of hearth and home,” says Josh Wolkon, co-owner of the hot spot. “She’s very sensual and subtle.”

The conceptual leap from the idea of Vesta the goddess to the architectural manifestation of Vesta the restaurant expressed as girly curves is the brainchild of Roth + Sheppard Architects. It was Ryan who took the broad ideas and built them out of wood and steel in the shop. To paraphrase German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, you might say GOOG is in the details.