Text description provided by the architects. Esi burger is a cozy intimate restaurant located on Sohrevardi Street in Tehran, very close to people’s gathering space in Palizi square. Before Admun Studio was commissioned to design this project the place had been used as a branch of quite a well-known chain restaurant and in spite of being in a crowded neighborhood it could not attract enough customers and this made us wonder what was going on in nearby juice shops and small restaurants surrounding Palizi square that attracted people from different parts of Tehran.
While these places did not provide considerable amenities (not even sitting spaces) and yet their customers looked satisfied and content. Seemed like lack of amenities did not matter to their customers so there should exist something more important on this square and it was very interesting for the design team. Probably people can satisfy one of their other needs on this square, need for freedom, choice, and social relationships. They like to be free of musts and must nots and share the joy and excitement of a social activity with other human beings.
Taking into consideration that this neighborhood without its culture is not desirable for people was an important fact. Therefore, the design was based on the city and neighborhood as the context of people’s presence and subcultures, and the team decided to create an interconnected space inspired from the city, culture, function and public social events. The best solution to achieve this goal was to go beyond the regular design patterns of restaurants and create an integrated space using platforms forming various sub-functions.
Platforms turning into tables, tables to chairs, chairs to stairs, stairs to platforms, similarly by transforming the surfaces to one another, a different spatial experience of the neighborhood culture was created. The design pattern was based on urban structure geometry. The intersections of surrounding buildings’ lines and streets’ lines defined the boundaries of the platforms that came out of the floor, step by step, creating different horizons through an urban space, sometimes creating a private and cozy corner suitable for private meetings or a raised stage for musical or student theatrical performances or an open area for waiting, gathering, making decisions or choices.
Simultaneously light and inexpensive tables and chairs, made of wooden cable drums, were added to the platforms to create a cozy free intimate space with a potential to be personalized, giving every user the chance to choose the space matching his/her mood. Sometimes he/she can choose a bench-like platform next to other people to start a conversation in a social atmosphere or own a personal territory within the urban ambiance of the restaurant to experience a peaceful and safe personal space.
Use of green plants helped to reinforce all that was expected from the space by defining boundaries resulting in a more legible space and also creating walls to act as a backrest for people, adding a sense of safety to space. Moreover, the plants strengthened privacy by limiting view and created an active and lively garden integrating with the platforms. Eventually, in order to thoroughly connect this garden to the city, its doors became open to it and the restaurant floor and platforms were covered with a material like the pedestrian, blurring the boundary between inside and outside to create a restaurant which is an urban space within the context of the city.