Mexican architecture and design pactice FMA. has designed the interiors of a bar with raw and rustic details in Morelia, Mexico.
Named Josafat Zalapa, the 75-square-metre space is located within a 19th-century house in the heart of Morelia City.
The new bar, drawn in a simple layout, is envisioned as “a culinary haven harmoniously melding the culinary heritage of Mexican culture with Oriental influences.”
The bar features a large table in the middle and invites guests to sit together under well-crafted details and hues.
FMA. designed a space rooted in the concept of crafting a groundbreaking dining ambiance, inspired by the Japanese term “Omakase,” which encapsulates the essence of “I trust you” or “the chef’s selection.”
Through an exclusive dining encounter, patrons embark on a gastronomic voyage, engaging actively as they observe the crafting of their dishes.
“The user experience begins with access to the historic building, where visitors are welcomed by a corridor and a gallery leading to a cloister adorned with various artworks along its perimeter,” said FMA.
“In the center, a sculptural piece featuring dead vegetation alludes to the passage of time within the building.”
The architectural layout comprises two rooms adjacent to the courtyard, flanked by Baroque-style architectural elements. The main space houses a sculptural bar with 20 designer chairs, while a second room with a bar is subtly displayed on one side.
As one enters the restaurant, the massive stone walls encase the project’s centerpiece: an elongated bar where patrons gather around the chef, preparing for the culinary spectacle.
Through interior design, the project aims to create a balance between the architecture of the past and contemporary elements expressed in the furniture, decor, and materials.
According to the studio, “this approach creates an introspective, elegant, and sober atmosphere.”
“The concept of the bar further emphasizes the dishes prepared by the chef, while indirect lighting along the floor’s edge frames the existing limestone walls.”
“This lighting highlights the layers of history that have been preserved over time, accentuating their architectural value,” the studio added.
The design premise revolved around respecting the architecture of the place while subtly intervening in the interiors, achieving a timeless proposal that integrates seamlessly with the historical layers of the building.
The studio preferred to use subtle and bold materials and texture to reveal the dominant character of the bar, including wooden floors and pigmented cement coatings on the walls.
Image © Arelis St
During the intervention, the architects placed a particular emphasis on lighting design and furniture integration.
This led to the custom design of each element, from the linear lamps that accompany the bar, to the chairs where diners will savor their meals.
Image © Arelis St
FMA. is an architecture and design studio founded in 2018, headquartered in the city of Morelia, and led by ascending architect Francisco Méndez.
The studio’s portfolio spans a diverse range of projects, including commercial, hospitality, residential, and urban endeavors across Mexico.
Project name: Josafat Zalapa
Architecture office: FMA.
Architect in charge: Francisco Javier Méndez Rodríguez
Furniture: Axoque Studio
Gross Floor Area: 75 m2
Location: Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
Year of Completion: 2022
All images © FMA.
All images © César Belio unless otherwise stated.
All drawings © FMA.
> via FMA.