January 31, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: Casual Dining

Named for the Spanish word for bone, the restaurant that Ignacio Cadena designed for his chef brother, Alfonso, benefits from the good bones of its home, a converted 1940’s house in an architecturally distinguished neighborhood. Delicious additions begin on the structure’s blocky exterior: Handmade ceramic tile, glazed white with cryptic black lines, creates an abstract effect—except for beside the front door, where the chicken scratch falls into line as the letters of the word Hueso.

The 3,500-square-foot interior is predominantly bone-white, too, from the glazed ceramic floor tile on up. The major exception, a long farm table in reclaimed pine, runs through the center of the narrow double-height dining room, with the tabletop stepping down as it continues beneath a mezzanine. On both sides of the table sit rows of that perennial café favorite, the bentwood chair. Chairs facing either way offer a view of Cadena’s endlessly fascinating update on the cabinet of curiosities. Backed by brick walls, unsurprisingly painted white, a matrix of boxlike frames displays a collection of 10,000 provocative—almost macabre—objects, including cooking tools. There are also cow skulls and assorted bones less easily identifiable.

Even the rear courtyard centers on a skeleton of sorts, the trunk and branches of a long-dead eucalyptus.

Project Team: Rocío Serna.

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