by Pallavi MehraJul 02, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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“.
Name: Gran Fierro
Location: Myslíkova 8, Prague 2, Czech Republic
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