This multifunctional space – a restaurant, a historical monument, an art center, a center of culinary research and space for cultural events – located in the Peruvian capital Lima is truly an enchanting and exotic place, isn’t it? Hosted in a seventeenth-century historical heritage hacienda the project of is the new emblem restaurant for renowned chef Gastón Acurio.
With great respect and care for the site’s history, the architects used the existing base to create full with light and joy premises. Each room and space has its one color based on the original coloring and historically the lightest hue of the hacienda; a very light pink, a light sky blue, a light green, etc. and the same approach was used with the facade carefully emphasizing its neoclassical style. Also based on the historical legend of the place the architects conceptually contextualise its past, giving it an ”orchard”- a beautiful herbal spiral that pays homage to the rich biodiversity of Peru, uses the plants that had grown in the old hacienda, supplies the kitchen with fresh spices and offers fresh retreat into natural surroundings.
Every detail from the arrangement and decoration of these premises is carefully considered and made with artistic inspiration – from the wooden sculptures in the courtyards to the graffiti walls and the hanging from the ceiling flower pots. The spaces offer a great variety of refine defiles and amusing interior decor solutions- like „The Bar”: an informal and groovy “gastro bar” served through an open kitchen made from recycled wood using the boxes in which the sophisticated kitchen equipment arrived. The other spatially defined premise the “Astrid&Gastón” is an avant-garde tasting menu restaurant with an austere and quiet ambiance but yet with contemporary furniture that corresponds with the different decorations that change each season and with each new menu. And the last conceptually identified space of the vast hacienda is “The Sky”: a private room’s area for special events, each with its own kitchen and ad-hoc service in a more traditional environment with vintage furniture solutions.
The woodwork throughout the premises was very carefully done, with consideration for the preexisting wooden structures – in fact, if the wood was too badly damaged and needed a replacement the architects painted the new woodwork in withe. If the wooden structure could be saved in tis original, the architects protected it with an ecological wax, which made the spaces not only much lighter and airy but it also allowed the visitors to track what is really old and what is the contemporary addition.
That’s what the architects tell us about the historical placement of this elegant restaurant:
For four centuries Lima lived surrounded by a fertile orchard, organized by Haciendas that provided the city with food. Since 1920, Lima grew rapidly and extensively on all agricultural areas. The Haciendas were swallowed by the city urbanizing their land and demolishing their old adobe structures, of which very few remain today. After decades out of context in this urban environment, almost no people from Lima link now Elseyra House with its agricultural origin. It is perceived instead as any other city mansion.
Photographs: PHOSS – Antonio Sorrentino & Iván Salinero, Courtesy of 51-1 arquitectos