Corte Madera, CA
Size: 4,170 sf
Scope: Structural Engineering
Architect: Interstice Architects
Amy’s Drive Thru is a 4,200 square foot one-story restaurant with drive-through take-out window located in Corte Madera, California, operated by Amy’s Kitchen, a vegetarian food company. The farm kitchen architecture is expressed through exposed timber trusses, vaulted ceilings, cantilevered awnings, and a gabled green roof. The project also includes an independent patio shade structure covering roughly 1,600 square feet, concrete site walls, and a CMU trash enclosure. One of the challenges of this site is that the building is located in a known floodplain with a design flood level five feet above the building pad elevation. Working with the architect and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), we investigated several ways to protect the building in the event of a flood. After evaluating several options, some of which included tall concrete stem walls and temporary barrier systems, the team utilized an integrated floodgate system with inserts placed on a structural mat foundation that was extended beyond the building perimeter enough to meet the flood demands. This configuration eliminated the architectural impact, made flood protection essentially invisible, and can be readily deployed when needed.