Testament to the sayings “good things come in small packages” and “size doesn’t matter”, the 10-square-metre Pargot restaurant packs a punch in the Roma Norte neighbourhood of Mexico City. Designed by local firm RA! Arquitectos, the tiny diner merges the traditional architecture of the region with influences of its ocean-focused menu. “The interior design takes us back to the Art Deco movement of the 1920s, generating a composition based on symmetry and balance between colour and geometry,” says the RA! team, led by practice co-founders Pedro Ramírez de Aguilar, Santiago Sierra and Cristóbal Ramírez de Aguilar.
Tucked behind an unassuming roller door, between a messy patchwork of electrical wires and gas metres, the hole-in-the-wall footprint of Pargot doesn’t leave much to the imagination. The dining area is limited to a duo of high bars, each with bench seats, that flare out to accommodate four diners at any one time. Behind the counters, the small industrial kitchen is divided into hot and cold food areas, backdropped by a wall featuring two arches and two sliding brass doors. When opened, the rear doors create a change of atmosphere, transitioning the core colour palette from gold to navy, which the designers say “incites a sensation that brings us closer to the sea”.
Pargot restaurant in Mexico City by RA! Arquitectos
Ensuring the material palette is kept simple yet striking, the floor of the restaurant, the lower portion of the walls and the two bars are all composed of white-based concrete terrazzo, with blue, yellow and grey stones offering a nod “to the beaches and shells that we find on the sand,” the designers say. The upper part of the walls features a gentle shift in materiality thanks to a textured effect created with lengths of bamboo. Stems of the plant have been pressed into a plaster mix, revealing its notches and veins – a treatment which is accentuated by uplighting concealed behind a golden rail.
Efficient storage shelves suspended from the ceiling double as the bar area at the front of the kitchen, displaying a small selection of wines and spirits for diners to imbibe alongside delicious dishes. The gold-coloured metallic finish of both the shelf embellishments and the foot rails catches the light emitted from within the Art Deco detailing of the bar fronts and the floating orbs overhead, drawing in passers-by. Heightened by the grungy surrounds that lay before the restaurant’s front step, the result is a glimmering gem in a roughened street of Roma Norte, destined to satisfy the appetites of foodies and design lovers alike.
The interior design takes us back to the Art Deco movement of the 1920s, generating a composition based on symmetry and balance…