Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Nueve Nueve in Mexico City, Mexico by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
February 17th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
Located in the heart of the Colonia Roma and dating to the first decade of the twentieth century, the Casa Lamm Cultural Center is a heritage listed building noted for its architectural and historical value and is currently used as an art gallery with a cultural and education program. Its generous proportions and ornamentation recall the European architecture of the period. The building houses the Nueve Nueve Bistró Mexicano, a restaurant featuring contemporary Mexican cuisine designed by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos.
The project comprised the refurbishment of an existing extension to the building. With the aim of creating an experience within a number of different spaces, it was decided to develop the project across three platforms.
The dining areas is spread across two levels, taking advantage of elements such as fireplaces and planters to surround the tables and create a welcoming atmosphere that adapts to suit different times of day. This area is adorned with an undulating ceiling made from traditional mecate textile. The interior can be fully opened up to the exterior and joined to the terrace to create a fluid and well-ventilated space with superb views over the spectacular central garden surrounded by the interior courtyard. The glass surround that contains the restaurant sits in harmony with its classical context.
The existing Smoking Lounge was refurbished in the English style. The wooden floors and elegant bar, camouflaged as a bookcase, endow this sober space with a luxurious ambience. To one side of the Smoking Lounge there is a generous pool of water from which a large tree emerges, surrounded by incense burners, forming a focal point for the restaurant. The duality of fire and water is found in a number of details throughout the project.
The upper platform houses the main bar, defined by the imposing bar top cut out of a sizeable ash trunk, complemented by a comfortable communal table. The wine cellar is a sculptural element that emerges from the basement, and crosses the central void, rising to a height of four meters.
The aim of creating harmony between the classical and contemporary languages is manifest in every detail. The new palette of materials sits comfortably with the originals. The original stone baseboards, frames and moldings are retained together with the existing wall finishes. The range of complementary textures created from wood, concrete tile floors and stone finishings define it as a formal space, while the selection of art and objects emphasize the character of the place and the restaurant concept. Natural light enters in a diffuse manner between metal beams while the indirect lighting on walls and ceilings contributes the warmth that makes the restaurant an idyllic space for enjoyment in the city.
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