Project Name: Josafat Zalapa
Architecture Office: FMA.
Architect in charge: Francisco Javier Méndez Rodríguez
Furniture: Axoque Studio
Photographs: César Belio
Gross Floor Area: 75 m2
Location: Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
Year of Completion: 2022
FMA. introduces Josafat Zalapa, a culinary haven harmoniously melding the culinary heritage of Mexican culture with Oriental influences, arising within a 19th-century house in the heart of Morelia City. The inception of the restaurant is 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. 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 achieves a balance between the architecture of the past and contemporary elements expressed in the furniture, decor, and materials. 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 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 material selection remained essentialist, incorporating wooden floors and pigmented cement coatings on the walls.
During the intervention, particular emphasis was placed 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.
In the heart of Morelia City, a culinary haven like no other has emerged within the walls of a 19th-century house. Josafat Zalapa, brought to life by FMA Architects, is more than just a restaurant; it’s an exquisite blend of Mexican cultural heritage and Oriental influences. This unique dining establishment is a testament to the concept of “Omakase,” which translates to “I trust you” or “the chef’s selection” in Japanese. Here, patrons embark on a gastronomic voyage, actively engaging in the creation of their dishes, all while surrounded by awe-inspiring architecture.
A Historic Welcome
As you approach Josafat Zalapa, the journey begins with the historic building itself. A corridor and gallery greet visitors, leading them to a cloister adorned with captivating artworks. In the center of this oasis, a sculptural piece featuring withered vegetation serves as a reminder of the passage of time within these walls.
The architectural layout of Josafat Zalapa is a masterpiece in itself. Two rooms, flanking a charming courtyard, are adorned with Baroque-style architectural elements. The main space boasts a sculptural bar, complete with 20 designer chairs, while a second room with its own bar subtly awaits on one side. However, the true magic happens as you step inside the restaurant.
At the heart of it all, massive stone walls encase the project’s centerpiece: an elongated bar where patrons gather around the chef, eagerly anticipating the culinary spectacle that awaits. This architectural setup ensures that every diner is part of the action, immersing themselves in the artistry of the kitchen.
A Fusion of Past and Present
Josafat Zalapa is more than just a culinary delight; it’s an architectural marvel that seamlessly merges the past with contemporary elements. The furniture, decor, and materials all reflect this delicate balance, creating an atmosphere that exudes introspection, elegance, and sobriety.
The bar concept, in particular, amplifies the importance of the dishes prepared by the chef. Indirect lighting along the floor’s edge highlights the preserved limestone walls, framing the historical layers of the building. It’s a nod to the rich history that surrounds every diner, emphasizing the architectural value of the space.
A Timeless Integration
The heart of Josafat Zalapa lies in its respect for the building’s architecture while subtly infusing modernity. The material selection remains essentialist, featuring wooden floors and pigmented cement coatings on the walls. During the renovation, special attention was given to lighting design and furniture integration, resulting in custom-designed elements that enhance the overall dining experience.
In conclusion, Josafat Zalapa is more than a restaurant; it’s a testament to the harmonious fusion of cultures, architectural splendor, and culinary excellence. It invites you to trust the chef, embrace the history, and savor every moment in this extraordinary dining destination. Visit Josafat Zalapa to experience a culinary journey like no other, where architecture and gastronomy unite in perfect harmony.