- Construction:TRU Design S.A.C.
- Sanitary & Electric Engineers:DAAIU
- Structural Engineer:Emilio Rueda
- Art Direction:Kilka
- Graphic Design:Mónica Reyes
- Architect In Charge:Jose Luis Zimic, Oscar Pita
“Maestro Tzu” is strategically located in Larcomar, one of the most visited shopping centers in Lima. The brands’ first establishment is a space designed to emulate the feelings Chinese food evokes; warmth, mysticism and coziness are feelings meant to enclose a personal experience when visiting the restaurant. Spatial configuration and location within the mall were complex challenges whilst at the same time resulted interesting for the project.
In this project, branding and identity of the restaurant was developed parallel to the architectural design. This allowed a constant interdisciplinary feedback between the branding agency Kilka and the architecture design team. The space is composed of three levels and one enters through the uppermost level and submerges without knowing what to find in the interior. As a proposal, TRU design team decided to take advantage of this condition to create intrigue within the restaurants’ visitors.
It is a narrow space embed in a cliff that faces the Pacific Ocean. The rectangular volume where the restaurant is located has three of its faces surrounded by the earth itself leaving the fourth with a spectacular panoramic view of the coastline. To solve the narrowness of the volume, it was important to create a vertical circulation flow within the levels. Double heights, illumination effects and working with fake beams and ceiling heights helped to give the space a more friendly scale.
To solve the functionality of the project; the kitchen, restrooms, service and administrative areas were placed at the back leaving the dining areas in places easily reached by the clients without interfering with the private elements of the architectural program. A transverse axis of stairs was used to divide both public and private areas of the restaurant working as a virtual limit for the public. A small lift for dishes and food was placed to connect the kitchen in the lowest level with the others. The use of the food lift helped reduce the service traffic through the stairs leaving them for the customers’ exclusive use. As the location of the stairs, the circulation paths were optimized to have the better use of space for dining and table areas.
The mysticism and craftiness of the brand allowed us to explore and combine raw materials like polished cement floors, old wood-like vinyl floor and old brick cladding. These materials and the scenographic decorative elements make one feel transported to another place or era far away from the present day city of Lima. Some of the furniture was recovered from antique stores and other elements were made using old wood planks bought from demolition sites in the picturesque neighborhood of Barranco. The project allowed us to create a space that becomes more intimate and welcoming the deeper you go, creating a subtle transition between the exterior and interior. These different areas, experiences and sensations serve as a perfect complement for the food served in the restaurant. Both architecture and food evoke a sense of ancestry and contemporaneity.