Kurhaus is an international architecture and design studio based in Madrid and Buenos Aires with experience working in the local culinary scene by designing stands, art installations and advertising events for both brands as well as chefs.
Chef Marina Lis Ra, a conceptual gastronomy artist that mixes Korean and Latin American cuisine, contacted them to design her first restaurant in the traditional Buenos Aires neighborhood of Chacarita. The original structure was an old 1940’s empty front shop featuring a checkerboard ceramics floor and a vintage iron door. In this location the client wanted to build a cosy, but somehow austere restaurant, which would complement her food and the style of her dishes.
Taking these in consideration, with this design, Kurhaus addressed the tension between the material and ephemeral in the textures that could be traced in any part of the building; due to the small scale of the project, industrial design had to be merged with interior minimalism.
A triad of key elements – a translucent industrial curtain, a wooden bar, and a grey dining hall– connects the project through their interlinked spatial meaning.
The chosen industrial curtain is usually used in cold storage rooms and other similar facilities so its weight and composition not only made an additional sound barrier but also helped to maintain the restaurant’s indoor temperature stable, thus reducing the use of air conditioning and hence the carbon footprint. Also, in terms of ambiance, the amber coloured shiny elements of the curtain allow the light to ricochet throughout the restaurant as the reflections interact with each other.
The Petiribi wooden bar, made from a South American tree successfully used for reforestation, pierces along the whole length of the restaurant, thus connecting the service and hall areas with its dry brown opacity and minimalistic parallelepiped design.
The grey hall assembles a set of specially made tables, design chairs and dimmed lights. A controlled fluidity emerges from these colliding palettes of grey while small pieces of light wood stand out from the lamp bases and chair backs, giving the space an overall feeling of formal, yet inviting, atmosphere.
The combination of these elements helps conveying clearly the restaurant’s statement: an environmentally responsible act of social dining in pleasant surroundings.
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Kurhaus architecture studio 2020 : Nicolás Sfeir, David Mastrangelo & Valentino Tignanelli
Photos: Nicolás Sfeir – Catalina Romero