Héctor Esrawe and Michel Rojkind's Tori Tori Restaurant

The Japanese restaurant in Mexico City won Interior Design's BOY 2011 award

by Malcolm Clark
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Considered one of the best Japanese restaurants in Mexico City, the Tori Tori Restaurant, designed by architect Michel Rojkind and designer Héctor Esrawe, has quickly become an icon of interior design, winning Interior Design's Best of Year Awards 2011.

The residential area in Polanco, where it is located has seen significant changes with houses transformed into office space or restaurants.

Sometimes these changes are almost unnoticeable, a small sign suddenly appears indicating the existence of a new space; while the outside looks the same, the interior has been changed.

Aware of this, Esrawe and Rojkind wanted to give enough strength to the new project so they transformed the place outside and inside. The client’s requirements were oriented towards a Japanese contemporary and cosmopolitan interpretation; the architects enhanced its existing spatial conditions, creating various “experiences”, like terraces, a sake-bar and an exclusive temple for sushi lovers. Inside you find yourselves in a terrace where you can eat and drink surrounded by natural vegetation.

The organic façade of the building, carefully designed to be an extension of the restaurant, creates a strong relationship between the outside and the inside with subtle contrasts. All the furniture has been designed and made especially for the Tori-Tori and over 8 months a complete collection of tables and chairs has been created for exterior and interior use. "We seek in the project a chance for the users to link with the different ambiances and choose their favorites.” declared Esrawe.

The façade, which seems to emerge from the ground climbing up through the building like the natural ivy surrounding the retaining walls, is made up of two “self-supporting” layers of steel plates cut with a CNC machine. The pattern responds to the inside openings, filtering light, shadows, and views that will constantly invade the interior spaces. “An atmosphere enriched by the spectrum of subtle changes”.

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    Tori Tori Restaurant 199

    Tori Tori Restaurant

    Mexico City / Mexico / 2011