Ruth Plascencia

Ruth Plascencia

Houston, TX, US


60 Degrees- Master Crafted

60 Degrees Mastercrafted

In the city of Houston, home of the world’s largest rodeo and king of the high end steak house, Master Chef Fritz Gitschner and his HeartBrand Beef ranching partners wanted to think differently about beef and create a unique restaurant concept.  60 Degrees Mastercrafted was born from this vision. The restaurant brings to the table the famed Texas-raised Akaushi beef, derived from a proprietary breed of Japanese cattle. The name references the 60-degree triangle that symbolically links the ranch to the kitchen and the “mastercrafted” dishes within it.

The interior palette, inspired by wood, hemp and grass elements, serves as a backdrop for feature elements such as a playful life-size photo of grazing Akaushi cattle. Natural materials such as timber from ranch remnants create a patchwork-like coffered ceiling. The front face of the open kitchen resembles a balanced stack of firewood. A triangle hangs in the corner and chimes to signal the chef’s specialty.

The site was notoriously labeled a dead zone for more than 15 years. Although the centralized location was ideal, numerous restaurants opened and closed. The design team’s objective was to re-write this spot’s doomed history and create a vibrant locale, overriding the inherent building flaws.  Repositioning the building by flipping the entrance, opening the façade with a glass wall system to expose street life and increase natural light, and enlarging the front patio to serve as a secondary bar and dining area helped dramatically shift customers’ experience.

The $750,000 budget was an overarching concern and the design team tried to limit spending when renovating the 4,451 SF interior. Fortunately, the building’s quirky elements were capitalized and used to the owners’ advantage. Old wood plank floors were striped and whitewashed. Repainting updated the building to look like a modern-day farmhouse.

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Status: Built
Location: Houston, TX, US
My Role: Lead Designer
Additional Credits: Marcy Newman- Project Manager
Melanie Herz Promecene- PIC