Intimate, yet Public: Chooji Restaurant in Tehran
Client: Esmaeel Heidari
Architects: Admun Studio , Teheran
Location: Arabali Street 45, Teheran (IR)
At the same time, the entryway symbolizes the interplay between public and private space, which plays an important cultural and architectural role in Iran. While the restaurant exudes a public feeling, the interior walls, which are formed with slender wooden poles, offer more private areas inside the space, thus creating an intimate sphere within a public place. The wooden poles add movement to the room: the light falling in, dining and moving guests in front of and behind the louvre-like walls create a dynamic picture. This creates aloof spaces for dining and lingering within the larger space, but prevents the impression of being closed off.
The material choice of wood and metal offers the potential for reuse. All the details here have been formed in such a way that they can easily be adapted to new uses. This will not just save money, but resources as well, and will ensure the gentle handling of the existing structure.
In their diverse applications, the wooden poles call to mind Asian chopsticks or makisus, bottle caps or corks. At any rate, they arouse associations with food and invite guests to come in. The dark-coloured expanded metal, which allows a view behind the scenes, provides a contrast. This is how the existing structure and the technological side of things remain visible and can be experienced. The various zones at the Chooji Restaurant seem to conquer the original space: they create a kind of integration in the existing structure and simultaneously give the place a new identity. The entrance corridor remains open and inviting without invading the private space of the dining nooks, while the wood-veiled seating areas create an intimate sphere within the public place.