Brooke Showell | March 01, 2011
From the street in a residential Mexico City neighborhood, there's virtually no sign of Tori Tori, a tony Japanese restaurant by Rojkind Arquitectos. That's because three plant walls enclose the property, hedgelike. Step through a discreet doorway in the foliage, however, and you find yourself on a dining terrace, facing the restaurant building, a converted house rendered unrecognizable by an artful brise soleil. Besides shielding the sun, this steel screen casts dramatic shadows on the dining room inside.
Michel Rojkind and partner Gerardo Salinas designed the screen with Maya software. "It's great to design digitally, but you have to think of who is going to fabricate your ideas," Rojkind says. Salinas adds, "In any other country, this element would have been manufactured in a factory. But we could afford to have it made by hand." Putting a small army of people to work in the process: A team of 40 laser-cut the steel components and assembled them on-site, then ground and hand-polished them.