Studio Formafatal redesigns Gran Fierro restaurant in Prague with a 'sustainable soul'

Raw construction material and bio charcoal highlight the design of the now relocated Argentinian restaurant Gran Fierro, designed both times by studio Formafatal.

by Anmol Ahuja Published on : Nov 02, 2020

The first Gran Fierro located in the centre of Prague in Voršilská Street proved to be among Studio Formafatal’s maiden projects in 2015. Five years later, the owner of the establishment, Juan Cruz Pacin, had to move his business to Myslikova Street near the famous Manes Gallery in Prague. Formafatal was brought on board again to redesign the restaurant, keeping the soul and approach of the original intact while establishing a new, sustainable outlook at the same time to serve as a statement for contemporary establishments.

  • The interiors of the new Gran Fierro Restaurant | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The interiors of the new Gran Fierro Restaurant Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • The wine racks at the Gran Fierro made of recycled steel bars | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The wine racks at the Gran Fierro made of recycled steel bars Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • The interior scheme of Gran Fierro delves into raw yet elegant materiality | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The interior scheme of Gran Fierro delves into raw yet elegant materiality Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice

In keeping with the restaurateur’s Argentine heritage, the interior layout of the now reborn Gran Fierra, covering an area of nearly 390 sqm, has been designed to reflect a fusion of the traditional Argentinian bodega and modern open plan dining, in an attempt to provide spatial flexibility, as well as an exquisite, intimate feeling of inheritance from the place. The restaurant features an open kitchen integrated with the primary seating area, another reminder of the restaurant’s roots, wherein the fire is described to be the figurative heart of the place where its ages old grilling technique is mastered. The other two “zones” of the vast space include an outdoor lounge area with a winter garden, and a rear wing with VIP lounges.

  • Exposed concrete walls and acid stained concrete floors adorn the restaurant’s main seating area clad in leather | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    Exposed concrete walls and acid stained concrete floors adorn the restaurant’s main seating area clad in leather Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • The feature wall along the restaurant’s seating made of hollow concrete blocks | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The feature wall along the restaurant’s seating made of hollow concrete blocks Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • The hollow concrete block has a piece of charcoal suspended within as a “jewel” | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The hollow concrete block has a piece of charcoal suspended within as a “jewel” Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice

Akin to the interior layout, the interior scheme comes to showcase an interesting fusion of materials. Contrasting between the usage of bare concrete and plush leather upholstery, the space develops a character of rawness, while aiming to be cozy and comfortable for its patrons. However, where the scheme proves to be remarkable is in the owner’s and designer’s resolve to judiciously reuse the original equipment and furniture from Gran Fierro I, apart from sustainably incorporating newer elements to the design. For instance, steel HEB beams (a type of European Wide Flange Beams) have been used as a base for benches in their exposed form. Iron bars from the previous construction have been used as space dividers as well as for shelves that form its generous wine bar, serving local as well as South American delicacies. Welded wire meshes serve as trellises for internal and external green walls, while a combination of ceramic tiles, solid oak, hot rolled steel sheet, burnt wood, and quartz close out the diverse, grunge interiors of the restaurant.

  • The VIP lounge at the restaurant terminating a vault framing suspended pieces of charcoal | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The VIP lounge at the restaurant terminating a vault framing suspended pieces of charcoal Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • Pieces of charcoal hanging from the ceiling framework of the restaurant as a symbolic commitment to sustainability | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    Pieces of charcoal hanging from the ceiling framework of the restaurant as a symbolic commitment to sustainability Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice
  • The Gran Fierro’s external seating area | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    The Gran Fierro’s external seating area Image: Courtesy of BoysPlayNice

While the grill is an integral part of the restaurant’s experience, the re-formed Gran Fierro manages to break away, even if partly so, from its untenable aspects. The charcoal used in its fires and grills is all bio-charcoal that the restaurant produces from its own vegetable waste. A feature wall that goes along the length of the restaurant beginning from and framing its entrance is composed entirely of hollow concrete blocks with pieces of charcoal suspended within them, almost as if a relic housed in a casing for display. “The wall is like a showcase, charcoal is like a jewel in it,” mention Dagmar Štěpánová and Iveta Tesařová, principal architects at Formafatal. This unmissable visual statement continues till the back of the restaurant, to the VIP lounges, where too the vault at its termination is composed of levitating charcoal pieces, as is the ceiling at several zones in the restaurant. The restaurant is thus, symbolically speaking, “re-born with the mission of promoting critical thinking so everyone can create their own path towards an improved and sustainable environment“.

  • Gran Fierra’s Floor Layout | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    Gran Fierra’s floor layout Image: Courtesy of Formafatal
  • Longitudinal Section showcasing the concrete blocks wall | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    Longitudinal Section showcasing the concrete blocks wall Image: Courtesy of Formafatal
  • Longitudinal Section showcasing bar area and main seating | Gran Fierro | Formafatal | STIRworld
    Longitudinal Section showcasing bar area and main seating Image: Courtesy of Formafatal

Project Details

Name: Gran Fierro
Location: Myslíkova 8, Prague 2, Czech Republic
Architects: Formafatal
Client: Juan Cruz Pacin
Built-up Area: 445 m2
Gross Floor Area: 390 m2
Usable Floor Area: 314 m2
Project year: 2019
Completion year: 2020

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