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Oku restaurant in Mexico City features "floating tables" made of wood and steel


Oku restaurant

Curved booths are suspended over a dining room at a Japanese restaurant in Mexico City designed by local firms Michan Architecture and Escala Arquitectos.

The sushi eatery is located in the upscale neighbourhood of Jardines del Pedregal, across from a famed church known as Parroquia de la Santa Cruz del Pedregal.

Oku restaurant
Oku is a sushi restaurant in Mexico City

It is the second Oku restaurant designed by Michan Architecture. The other – which features a cave-like ceiling made of huge concrete lights – is found in the district of Lomas de Chapultepec.

For the Pedregal location, the architects worked with another local firm, Escala Arquitectos. The team aimed to elongate the space’s proportions and take advantage of its height.

Restaurant by Michan Architecture
The restaurant is Michan Architecture’s second of its kind

Rectangular in plan, the eatery has two levels. The lower level encompasses a sushi bar, indoor and outdoor seating, and a back-of-house zone.

Additional seating is found upstairs, where a series of “floating tables” are arrayed along a corridor.

Floating tables
“Floating tables” are arrayed along a corridor

“The mezzanine level features individual tables hung from the existing structure, giving guests a unique dining experience,” the studio said.

Two of the tables hover above the sushi bar, and two extend over the outdoor terrace. Each has wooden walls that enclose a single booth.

Curved staircase
Curved stairs connect Oku’s two levels

A similar enclosure was used for the stairs connecting the restaurant’s two levels.

The dining pods are supported by light steel members that are welded into the building’s existing steel structure.

Above the mezzanine is a drop ceiling with curved cutouts that expose the steel framing and add height to the space.

Moreover, the openings provide a “sensation of cutting and pasting the ceiling onto the tables”, the architects said.

Black lighting fixtures
Cylindrical black lighting fixtures hang from the ceiling

Hung from the ceiling are cylindrical, black lighting fixtures, which merge electrical cables with structural elements.

Throughout the restaurant, the team used neutral colours and clad surfaces in pine, pigmented stucco and panels made of glass-fibre-reinforced concrete (GFRC).

Oku pine wood restaurant
The team used neutral colours and clad surfaces in pinewood throughout Oku

The effect is a “light and open atmosphere that plays with polished and raw finishes”, the team said.

Other Japanese eateries in Mexico include Mexico City’s Tori Tori by Esrawe Studio, which features elements inspired by Samurai armour, and a restaurant by TAX Architects in the coastal town of Puerto Escondido that is topped with a thatched roof.

The photography is by Alexandra Bové.

Project credits:

Architect: Michan Architecture and Escala Arquitectos
Project team: Narciso Martinez, Benjamin Espindola, Emilio Gamus, Isaac Michan
Structural engineer: Arturo Rosales + MdO
Mechanical, electrical, plumbing: RAGER, Rafael Barra

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