The preservation project, finished in December 2017, converted the ground floor of the emblematic IAB building (headquarters of the Institute of Architects of Brazil - originally designed by Rino Levi, Roberto Cerqueira César, Abelardo de Souza, Hélio Duarte, Zenon Letufo, Jacob Rucht, Galian Ciampaglia e Miguel Forte in 1946) into a restaurant, the Z Deli Sandwich Shop.
Architecture in the historical city center of São Paulo
From the applied materials to the plan organization, our intervention proposed a dialogue with salons and entrance halls of mid-century buildings around the historical city center of São Paulo, where the project is located.
Furthermore, the project preserves the multi-functional space of the ground floor, privileging free spaces, with the minimum amount of walls and visual dividers.
Materials and atmospheres
We searched in the yellow brass details of window frames and door handles of residential towers from the 40’s and 50’s the motto for lamps and mop boards design.
We interpreted the dense ambience of clad panels made in tropical and dark wood – and found in old restaurants, bars and commercial spaces – as a bright yellow bamboo surface.
We placed the marbles and granites – usually applied in façades and entrance halls in these mid-century buildings – in the new cooking and serving counters.
We maintained the prefab concrete floor in place (already in consonance with the existing architecture), seizing the high resistance properties of this material.
The holistic approach to the project included the challenge to specifically design chairs and barstools in order to attend expectations regarding costs, quality and desired atmosphere. The design looked for the aesthetic of office chair of the 50’s.
After months of prototype development, we have presented the Chair and Barstool Carlota, name in honor to Charlotte Perriand. The orange of the leather matched with the yellow and beige shades of the architectural color palette, bringing a bright and vibrant presence to the space.
The contrast between the white working light in the kitchen and the warm light in the dining room guided the lighting conception. The two colors created by these different light temperatures defined the space in the façade, expressing functional changes among the environments.
In the dining area, artificial light is supplied by sources of two different kinds: (1) linear lamps specially designed in brass and stainless steel using LEDs, orientated both to the tables at ceiling; (2) Semi-build-in light molding washing the bamboo panel which covers the 4 meters ceiling height.
Few elements, precisely detailed, defined the project:
1) One single counter measuring 10 meters long, placed in parallel to the shop longest wall (north). It hosts fundamental functions of the restaurants such as cocktail bar, dessert and sandwich plating areas. Unfolding this solution, the bamboo panel in the back is the support for niches, shelves and equipment made in stainless steel.
2) A wall aligned with the central axis of the western column protects the dining area from noise, smell, smoke and the white light coming from cooking sector of the kitchen (that includes hamburger hot plates). This uncommon solution for modern architecture keeps the visual permeability between dining room and kitchen through a square window that measures 1.80x1.80m.