September 12, 2022
Dining in a Garden 56 Stories Above Mexico City
Framed by foliage and overlooking the atrium is a hand-painted mural by Mexican artist Paola Delfín. Titled “Guardian of Nature”, the design was inspired by Xochitl, the Aztec goddess of beauty, flowers, and love. In addition to serving as an accent wall, the piece is part of Fundación Arte Abierto, a program initiated by the Sordo Madaleno founder.
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Home-grown Mexican pine and poplar wood were selected for the terrace’s portico and the interior’s vaulted ceiling, the arches of which are another nod to local style. “We made a modern interpretation of it by slicing [the ceiling] into a stereotomy,” Patiño says about the 165 unique elements, adding that this structure helped bring down the scale, creating a cozier environment.
Across the restaurant’s wedge-shaped floorplan, a flamboyant collection of local, exotic, and dried plants provide visual cohesion. “We think of them as theatrical props,” says Patiño. “In particular spots, the greens become a bit denser to create these little nooks where people can have a more intimate experience.”
She explains that with ceilings over ten feet tall, dried plants became necessary as restrictions precluded the hydraulic systems needed for irrigation. “We also play with seasonality,” Patiño says about the choice of plants, using the smell of blooming flowers as a biophilic design element. “From season to season, patrons will experience a different atmosphere,” she remarks. “That really makes the project come alive.”
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