The story of the expendio de maiz project started from a road trip between friends, those trips when we decide to leave Mexico city for a few days, to go the rural countryside, far from our trendy urban way of life in the capital, to those simple villages, non touristic ones, where we can enjoy simple food, simple moments of authentic mexican life, just watching the people living.
Traditionally, in South India the word Darshini refers to a place that runs on the concept of ‘pay first, eat later’ Udupi style restaurants, which are similar to the fast food chains seen in the West. It was primarily intended to serve the rush hour crowd, and the dishes served were breakfast or snack items that require minimal fuss- both for the chef and the customer. A darshini set-up in Bangalore brings to mind steel tables jam-packed with customers standing around steaming plates of idli-vada, sipping a filter coffee and looking out onto the street which might just be inches away. Our clients approached us with a simple brief – “a darshini on the site along the highway in Hoskote”
The space is designed to embrace the all-time dynamic street life of Greenwich Village, which was once regarded as a paradigm of urban dwelling. Occupying a corner space with large windows stretching across the street-facing walls and an open panelized storefront folded on both sides, the dining room becomes an extension of the bustling street life outside. Flooded with natural light, the front dining room houses two communal tables at center, while birch banquette seating upholstered with light gray leather lines the back wall, accompanied by white marble tables atop mint green bases throughout the room. A bar counter at the back is tiled in mint green, with illuminated metal mesh hanging above, reflecting the street vibes of the neighborhood. The floor is primarily poured concrete that blurs the boundary between the street and the restaurant, accented by a silver-inlaid grey-and-white terrazzo tile rectangle, where the communal tables sit.
This article was originally published on April 14, 2014. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
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