Construction Company: Potentia Engenharia, Eng. Marcelo Ribeiro
Furniture Design: Gabriel Kogan, Gabriela Estefam, Guilherme Pianca
Lighting Design: LDARTI, Arq. Guilherme Artigas
Climatization And Exhaustion Project: Fundament-ar, Eng. Roberto Montemor Augusto Silva
Electrical And Hydrosanitary Installations Project: Eng. Renato Clemente
Text description provided by the architects. At the end of 2017, the project for the preservation and adaptation of use converted the ground floor of the emblematic Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB-SP) – designed in 1946 by Rino Levi, Roberto Cerqueira César, Abelardo de Souza, Hélio Duarte, Zenon Letufo, Jacob Rucht, Galian Ciampaglia and Miguel Forte – at the Z Deli Sandwich Shop.
The intervention created, using materials and the synthetic spatial configuration, a dialogue with the remaining architectures of the halls and access spaces of the 1940s and 1950s in the center of the city of São Paulo, found near Praça da República, where the project is leased. In addition, the project tries to preserve the condition of the multi-functional hall of this ground floor, favoring the continuous spaces, with the least amount of partitions possible.
Materials and atmospheres
We look at the brass details of the frames and door knobs of the residential buildings, the motto for the design of the lamps and plinths of the big balcony. We interpret the dense ambience of the wainscots of the dark and tropical woods found in the old restaurants, bars and commercial spaces like a lighted vibrant yellow bamboo cloth. We transported the marbles and granites from the basements of the facades and receptions of these half-century buildings to the work and food tops. We maintained the pre-fabricated cement floor in the store – taking advantage of its unique physical strength, already in line with the existing architecture.
We decided to face the challenge of designing the chairs and stools for the intervention to meet the expectations of cost, quality and atmosphere desired. We look for the imagery of the 1950s office chairs. After months of prototypes, we arrived at the Chair and Banquet Carlota, named in honor of Charlotte Perriand. The color of the leather has adapted to the yellow and beige tones of the architecture palette, bringing a more vibrant and joyful presence to the whole.
The contrast between the white working light of the kitchen and the warm yellow light of the hall guided the party of the lighting project. Thus, the two colors created by the different temperatures of light mark the spaces in the facade, expressing the functional change of the environments. In the hall, artificial light is provided by two types of sources: (1) linear lamps specially designed in brass and stainless steel with led lamps for both the ceiling and the tables; (2) semi-recessed flooring sweeping the right foot of 4 meters height next to the bamboo wall. In both cases, the reflector planes accentuate the yellowish color of the hot lamps already specified.
A lean number of operations, precisely detailed, defines the project:
1 – Single counter with 10m length, arranged parallel to the bottom wall of the property (north wall), which houses essential functions of the restaurant: bar, set up of desserts and assembly of snacks. In accordance with this configuration, the bamboo floor wall has received technical niches in stainless steel and equipment to support the operational functions.
2 – Wall aligned with the axis of the last circular pillar of the hall designed to garnish the hall, both the smoke coming from the cooking area and hamburger plate as well as the cold light from the kitchen. This intervention, uncommon in modern architecture, maintains the visual relation between kitchen and salon and exposes the assembly lines of the restaurant through a square window of 1.80 meters.
3 – Volume that contains sanitary cabins and shared sink implanted near the western wall of the property, resolving in a compact way this demand.
4 – Underground areas of support, cold chamber, stock, plus changing rooms and operating room underground – occupying the same area of the existing kitchen in the first years of life of the building.
In addition to the dialogue with the material and spatial qualities associated with the IAB Building, the intervention was aligned with the principles of reversibility. Filling of floors in the kitchen areas – to receive hydraulics and gas – avoided interventions on the existing slab. In the same line of reasoning, the detached wood panel of the wall allowed to install all the electrical infrastructure without demolitions. Such operations, in addition to facilitating the remodeling, allow for future changes of use in the property and that the hall can be reverted to the stage prior to our current intervention, without the need for complex works.
The downtown restaurants
Throughout the project, we researched and visited restaurants and buildings through the historic center of São Paulo, where we coincidentally also worked. We try to understand the constructive logic and the use of materials of these architectures and bring them subtly to our intervention, without creating an emulation of the surroundings, but rather seeking a respect and historical insertion in this context. We thought of an atmosphere that referred to those restaurants that have been elegantly in the same places for decades, true “institutions” of food in SP, such as Almanara, La Cassarole, Churrasqueto, Itamarati, Casa Godinho among others.
As a tribute to these restaurants and their architectures – almost always with unknown authors – we have left a list of places we have frequented and inspired ourselves in the development of this project. Architectures of extreme functional intelligence, constructive and aesthetic, that survive the fast and aggressive growth of the metropolis.
1. Churrasqueto – Wood / Formic panel, built-in hood in formic-coated structure; high school chair, only washers. Barbecue and onion sauce with delicious rosette bread. R. 24 de Maio, 237 – República; 2. Rong-He – The art of live pasta. Janelão and fresh pasta, freshly opened. R. da Glória, 622 – Liberdade; 3. Almanara, República – High-ceilinged, wallcovering up to height of 2.10, with system that already forms wall light for wall lighting. Leather chair in brown tones. The most beautiful restaurant in São Paulo since 1950. R. Basílio da Gama, 70 – Centro; 4. Fuentes – Slate floor, beige walls, pink tablecloth. Stylish waiters in a Spanish institution. Rua do Seminário, 149 – Centro; 5. Bar e Restaurante Guanabara – Linear counter high perpendicular to the entrance. Pendant luminaires on high right foot. Av. São João, 128 – Centro; 6. Aska – Single balcony, partly open kitchen. Best shoyu lamen in town. R. Galvão Bueno, 466 – Liberdade; 7. Bologna – Gold details, mirrors, high typefaces. Breaded shrimp vitela tonné not to be missed. R. Augusta, 379 – Consolação; 8.Restaurante Itamarati – Fixtures suspended by chains; lambril wood on the walls up to the height of 2.10m. Formica in beige tones. Best cod cookie. R. José Bonifácio, 270 – Centro; 9. Casa Godinho – clock, lambril, existing floor. Products grocery. Unbelievable heart of palm fruit to eat standing up. R. Líbero Badaró, 340 – Centro; 10. Acrópole – Kitchen on the way to the bathroom. R. da Graça, 364 – Bom Retiro; 11. Restaurante La Farina – Beige form; fixed layout with removable partitions to integrate tables. R. Aurora, 610 – Centro; 12. Giramondo – Elegant green marble pedestal. Cafes with customization. Rua Marconi, 19 – República; 13. Churrascaria Boi na Brasa – Corner on the same block. Use of lambril. Open late. R. Marquês de Itu, 139 – República; 14. Star City – Tower of the choppeira, entrance vestibule and well demarcated. R. Frederico Abranches, 453 – Vila Buarque; 15. La Cassarole – Wooden panel, pictures hanging on the lambril. One of the best restaurants in SP since 1954. Largo do Arouche, 346 – República.