BLOCO Arquitetos presents the Authoral Restaurant , i.e., Dining in a Steel Cage Match!

© Haruo Mikami

The upscale Asa Sul (South Wing) neighborhood district — the UNESCO-listed administrative region of Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil — was the first residential area built within Brasília’s original plan. The district is defined by two-story buildings connected to each other side-by-side along the commercial streets between the superblocks, or “superquadras,” as they face the street in one side and the residential superblocks on the other side. There was an unrealized plan by Lucio Costa to connect both sides through the buildings — since the most building owners literally shut away and blocked their buildings away from the residential zone — so BLOCO Arquitetos plans to turn that idea into a reality via the Authoral Restaurant.

© Haruo Mikami

BLOCO Arquitetos’ project involves reconnecting the residential and commercial sides by ACTUALLY extending the street INTO the Authoral Restaurant, while bringing a few elements of the surrounding urban environment into the interior. Part or that inspiration was the cooking method of the restaurant’s chef: cooking “interesting and unexpected meals using mostly local ingredients.” With the interior planning and design, BLOCO kicked around ideas of utilizing simple, low-cost materials that are normally found in the surrounding streets.

© Haruo Mikami

BLOCO designed a new pedestrian axe that connects both facades, while also organizing the table layouts and ground floor services, where the ground floor also works as a ventilated suspended ceiling that allows access to most of the Authoral Restaurant’s installations. All of the walls are exposed ceramic bricks where local street artists are permitted to work on, the kitchen is underground, and the floors and ceilings are built-in exposed concrete. The second floor offers views to the sky via a perforated roof for use during Brasilia´s long dry seasons, but the main feature is the “second skin,” which uses elements of prefabricated steel mesh (or, THE STEEEEEEL CAGE!!!) normally utilized for fences.  Through this design strategy, various patterns of the same mesh create a multipurpose element that wraps around the façade and part of the building. Plus, the double-layered internal and external facades allow vegetation to grow and protecting the interior space from excessive natural sunlight (while still maintaining much of the transparency).

© Haruo Mikami


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