Guacamole GMG is the brand of a Mexican restaurant chain in Lisbon that managed to solve, with remarkable success, the difficult price x speed x quality equation. After designing their first street restaurant – in Cais do Sodré – the client commissioned us a second project – a restaurant integrated in Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre, in Parque das Nações. We asked ourselves about the possible architecture inside a structure designed, in the most blatant way, to stimulate consumption. When we visited the space – an individualized space with a large window over the Mar da Palha – the answer came naturally: the new restaurant would be a window over the Sea, and would bring the sea and the light into the shopping centre.
The restaurant in Cais do Sodré presented us with the opportunity to develop a new identity for Guacamole. We looked for a constructed, material and spatial identity, rather than a staged, narrative and bidimensional identity. We were now facing a new context, a new space, a different program. We tried to question, develop and adapt the previous solution, as if we were working on the same eternally unfinished construction, which is, so to speak, the same identity.
We returned to the idea of the window over the Mar da Palha, and each element naturally found its place. The curtain-wall of the shopping centre – with its anodized aluminium mullions and transoms – is projected on the interior, and this projection divides the space into three: the main dining room in the centre, with the kitchen to the left and a secluded dining room to the right.
Materials were thought to construct the identity as aforementioned. Its particular combination – the brilliance of brushed stainless steel, the warm temperature of red terracotta tiles, the bottle-green acrylic glass background – seek to make light tangible.