Clayton Korte has unveiled its designs for Flora, a sophisticated new dining venue concept in Houston, Texas. From high-quality ingredients to hand-made tortillas, from lush plant life to the patio and lively music, Flora is conceived as a fresh approach to Mexican food making this Houston restaurant and bar the perfect viaje pequeño right in town. Driven by the owner's vision for the architecture, interiors, and brand to cohere with the chef's food and flavors, the words 'fresh, with heart, and transporting' guided every design decision.
The site anchors the corner of a large mixed-use development at a prominent thoroughfare near Houston's River Oaks neighborhood. Influenced by Mexico's culture of craft and making, materials requiring a skilled hand converge throughout. A lime-washed terra cotta breeze block on the building's exterior filters out direct sunlight while admitting dappled light into the dining room. At sunset, the building glows through the blocks like a lantern.
At street level, lush plants guide guests toward an authentic hand-carved Mexican door. Inside, a double-height dining room ceiling articulated with exposed glulam beams supports a spacious light monitor above. The beams extend to the patio through a double-height curtain wall inviting fluidity between indoor and outdoor experiences. Inside, neutral earthy tones and organic textures are punctuated by olive green suede upholstered banquettes, cognac leather stools, and locally made terracotta tile floors. At the chef's table, a concrete poured countertop sits over stacked end-grain wood. In the kitchen, custom blackened steel shelving with oak shelves holds serve ware, herbs, and spices.
Images: Courtesy of Clayton Korte