EF Restaurant

Cambridge, MA


EF Education First


10,000 SF restaurant with servery, dining room, and bar for employees and the public alike


A world leader in international education, EF Education First emis headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EF’s new headquarters building, designed by Sweden’s Wingårdhs Architecture Studio, makes a bold statement at North Point Park, with a jagged slice through the building façade evoking images of ice and water cascading to the ground to dissolve into the waters of the adjacent Charles River canal.

PCA was selected to create a restaurant adjacent to the main lobby that interprets and adapts the design aesthetic established by the architects. To comply with public space requirements, the restaurant was to offer access to additional seating on the second floor, above an intermediary parking level.

Working closely with EF and the building architects, PCA has crafted an elegant, luminescent space subtly subdivided into specific areas designed for the functions required at different times of day. A sculptural connecting stair has become a focal point, progressing in angled levels to the second floor. Wrapped with LED uplights, the stair creates a cool glow for the center of the space and provides an anchor for the bar and its clever cabinetry that conceals bar service functions during morning activities.

Patrons are welcomed into the Servery through a central wood-paneled space serving 300-300 breakfasts and 600-700 lunches daily. Table, banquette, window-front and lounge seating options are available throughout the day, with a community table at the back of the space offering more privacy for group gatherings and meetings.

A neutral palette of steel, distressed metal, wood and tile with predominantly white finishes carries forward the company’s international theme in a manner consistent with other spaces within the building, with pops of color provided by the furniture and the diners themselves