Architects in ChargeRosalía Yuste, Diego Mañón
Design TeamBerenice Solis y David Ignorosa
Text description provided by the architects. Located in the heart of Colonia Roma Norte, the restaurant is immersed in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Mexico City. The venue is a peculiar 1980’s house that stands out by its referential oval-window grid façade and a pair of sky-high old trees that allow just a glimpse of the building from the street. Meroma is a 160 sqm space divided into two stories and three main spaces, each one very different from the other, creating distinct atmospheres within the same place. The radical intervention to the old house was in charge of OPA, the architecture office led by Rosalía Yuste and Diego Mañón, who worked on a design proposal guided by the needs and concept lines that the chefs had in mind for their upcoming restaurant.
The ground floor is a single space that merges with the sidewalk, and it hosts the most dramatic element of the place: a huge monolithic concrete terrazzo bar. This space aims to invite every passerby by having no limits to the street. It also provides the restaurant with a transitional space for the guests to enter the dining hall. The seating space of the bar is formed by a wooden panel from where seats emerge, inviting guests to have a drink while waiting for a table or to sit and enjoy one of the signature cocktails offered by the barista. The three materials used for this space create a balanced contrast. On the main floor is the dining hall which was designed in a dynamic setup in order to accommodate 35people.
This compact space holds a minimum of constructive elements and lighting details. Here, the main character is the natural light from the high dome which is covered with the foliage of the trees outside. The result is a glass ceiling draped in fallen leaves. The furniture is arranged thoughtfully and efficiently to create a flowing circulation for the guests and the waiters. Beyond the dining hall, the terrace is the only open-air space of the restaurant, it allows up to 16 fortunate guests to sit in an exterior space surrounded by green leaves hanging from the treetops alongside the dining tables. The terrace is a flexible space that can be adapted according to the weather and uses required by the hosts.
Each space has furniture designed according to the different environments, which was overseen by the design studio Comité de Proyectos. The materials and color pallet were designed especially for the architectural elements as well as for the designated furniture. The selected colors are pink, green and bone colored terrazzo; the booths were made out of a mint colored cloth with a reused wooden structure. The main hall tables have a huanacaxtle top cover that enhances the natural shapes of the wood to create geometric shapes when gathered together.
The chairs were designed particularly for the restaurant, are fabricated from white oak wood, and light grey fabric for the cushions. The round back of the chairs was designed to preserve the natural circulation of the restaurant allowing the dining hall to comfortably serve the maximum capacity of guests. The exterior table tops are made from the green glass where the vegetation reflects. Additional materials such as volcanic stone on the walls and reused wood on the floor create a distinctive setting from the interior spaces.
The constructive materials selection for the entire project such as terrazzo, and pre-casted concrete, and wood for the architectural elements and furniture, where selected from a close conceptual process undertaken with the chefs and their ideas on the food and ambiance they looked for in their design. The aim was to create a single harmonic pallet of materials and colors that would bring each space an atmosphere of its own and would give a unique character to the restaurant while limiting the use of decorative pieces.