A Mexican restaurant with warm colours, celebrating organic forms, curves and artisanship
We’re paying a visit to Santa Engracia 54 in Madrid’s Chamberí district to see a new concept of Mexican restaurant, far from the traditional colourful cantina style of sombreros and Mariachis. The new Chido Santa Engracia, designed by MOCA estudio, has created a warm and serene atmosphere, with organic forms and rough textures that evoke the Mexican deserts.
The new restaurant, part of the Chido Castizo y Cabrón group, occupies the 300m2 ground floor of a listed building from 1925. The space combines the risqué, rocker aesthetic of the ‘taquería’ with traditional Spanish cooking and touches of Asian cuisine.
The design studio, carefully linking together the spaces, created two atmospheres in the locale, with distinct volumes and qualities. The first, with an edgier aesthetic, is the smaller bar area. This space is has glossy terracotta tile work and a striking interplay of mirrors of the bar and ceiling which gives a greater feel of openness and space.
The second space is larger with a more traditional and artisanal feel of Mexican tradition. This includes an ample dining area with elegant upholstery, with contrasting beige grouting and a cut-out technical ceiling with the original piping and ductwork left exposed and finished black for an appealing contrast.
Colours that embrace nature
MOCA estudio worked to create a smooth transition from one space to another, achieving a magical feeling of continuity. The designers chose a range of neutral colours connected to nature: from terracotta to different shades of brown, beige and sandy colours. They also created organic surfaces using natural materials and rough textures throughout the locale.
Ondulated mosaic tile with an artisanal aesthetic
One of the materials that embodies artisanship and sustainability is the eco-friendly Yeso mosaic tile from the Hisbalit Raw collection. The series is a tribute to the past as well as to sustainability and contemporary design, providing timeless character to spaces and a visual connection to nature.
The Yeso mosaic tile, in a 4x4cm square format was used to surface the walls and the curved entranceway serving as a transition from one space to another. A material with texture, movement, in a matte beige colour, inspired in traditional materials, recovering the vernacular, the natural returning to essentials.
The versatility of mosaic tile and the thickness of the tesserae (only 5mm) makes it perfectly adaptable to any surface, ideal for covering the curved surfaces of the restaurant. For the installation, an epoxy grouting in beige was used, the same colour as the tiles. In this way the grouting blends in, allowing the tile to stand out while also giving a feeling of continuity to the space