Snack Bar is an outdoor Chinese food and drink stand located within the courtyard of the Paseo San Francisco shopping center in Cumbaya, Ecuador.
The project was designed to be comfortable, secure, transparent, and easy to assemble. We avoided enclosing the space, due to the hot and dry local climate as well as the heat generated by the cooking equipment. The design had to be open air, but security was also a factor. A cage was wrapped around the work space, allowing for plenty of natural ventilation while simultaneously providing a security barrier. The transparency of the cage also benefited the client, who also owns a sit-down restaurant across the hallway, and wanted to maintain an unobstructed visual connection between both restaurants.
Snack Bar's design is simple; a box within a box. The interior core is dark and blends in with the surrounding environment’s palate, while the outer shell stands out in sharp contrast. Steel bars were welded together into a latticework that resembles a bamboo forest, and then sprayed with light French grey auto paint. The security screen doubles as a form of signage. Snack bar is fully visible to visitors on the upper levels of the mall as well as anyone using the neighboring glass elevator and escalator. The roof was particularly significant, as it acts as the fifth and most important facade.
The project was divided into smaller pieces that were built offsite. The construction schedule was accelerated by using a detailed 3D assembly guide, as well as full scale drawings of the bamboo lattice which the steel welders worked over directly.
Photographs by Hou de Sousa and Jay Vandermeer