PROJECT Toro Gastrobar
ARCHITECT Studio Arthur Casas
LOCATION Cabos, Punta Ballena, Mexico
PHOTO Leonardo Finotti
This complete renovation of an existing structure in a resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, aimed to bring the local atmosphere to the project. Located in front of a spectacular view facing the Pacific Ocean, the building was transformed in order to create a transition between a traditional Mexican courtyard and open views onto the landscape.
The desert climate, an arid flora and adobe constructions inspired a blend between regional vocabulary and cosmopolitan elements. The colours mimic the context’s earthly tones, and most materials employed come from local suppliers.
The entrance is made through a small corridor underneath a pre-existing brick dome. Side walls are protected by steel cables, inspired by the wrought iron of colonial architecture. On one side, a large rustic wood cabinet is filled with flower boxes, as found in traditional markets while on the other, the bottles of the cellar work as a filter, allowing just a glimpse of the interior of the restaurant.
Stones make up an organic design in the flooring and lead to the bar in the central courtyard, protected by a retractable sun screen. Corten steel beams support the twig pergola that filters the abundant light present throughout the year in this seaside spot. Large shelves float suspended by steel cables, highlighting the horizontal lines of the courtyard. They carry locally crafted ceramic vases filled with plants, a reference to the Mexican gardens that inspired Luís Barragan. The shelves are interrupted in rectangular sections that frame the neighbouring rooms and extend the view towards the sea. Benches made with recycled building site wood were placed along the counter’s perimeter, enhancing the rustic atmosphere of the space.
Next to the courtyard, the terrace and the restaurant room have tile flooring and wood ceilings.
Tables were organized to host both couples and large groups of friends, which make up most of the clients in Los Cabos.
The interior design uses Mexican furniture icons, such as pieces designed by Clara Porset and Luís Barragan, along with Italian furniture covered with natural fabrics and fibres that make references to local traditions in weaving and painting. Indian patterns bring complementary colours to the earth tones and rustic materials employed in the architecture.
Rounded edged niches, as in adobe constructions, showcase local craftwork.
The largest addition to the pre-existing architecture is a cantilevered wooden box. It is on a level lower than the rest of the restaurant and opens towards the Pacific.
Protected only by a railing, the space is dominated by a large bench of which the backrest is the floor of the upper level. Outside, a wooden deck blends with the garden, hosting couches, tables and a ground hearth.
A GRADUATE OF SÃO PAULO’S MACKENZIE UNIVERSITY IN 1983, ARTHUR CASAS IS AN ARCHITECT AND URBAN PLANNER WHOSE WORK HAS BEEN PRAISED IN BRAZIL FOR OVER TWO DECADES. FROM INSIDE TO OUTSIDE, FROM OBJECT TO LANDSCAPE, STUDIO ARTHUR CASAS’ CREATIONS ARE INTRINSICALLY CONNECTED ON A HORIZONTAL SCALE. DIALOGUE IS THE KEY FOR CONCEIVING PROJECTS THAT RANGE FROM A CHAIR TO AN URBAN PLAN, INFLUENCED BY A SPIRIT BOTH MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY, BRAZILIAN AND COSMOPOLITAN.
Namad sofa, Dansk Chair: Gloster
Beetle chair: Gubi
Hati chair: Lema
Navajos fabric: Safira Sedas
Paris Lamp: Saccaro
Tables, sofas, benches, vases, table lamps: Jerco
Hotel Emiliano, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2016
Restaurants at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 2016
H Stern Store, New York, USA, 2015
Brazilian Pavilion at Expo Milano, Milan, Italy, 2015
OM Townhouse, New York, USA, 2014
MD House, São Sebastião, Brasil, 2014
TM House, Recife, Brasil, 2013