Gelatoscopio by Cadena+Asoc. Concept Design and Esrawe Studio: 2017 Best of Year Winner for Counter Service
Gelato and the kaleidoscope, both staples of a happy childhood. But the spot they lend their combined names to is no nostalgic trip to a sweetshop of the past. Instead, the tidy space is a visual flight of fancy. Ignacio Cadena describes it as “an instrument born out of the unexpected, transporting us to scenes of wonder.” Héctor Esrawe notes, “Every view is unique, like when you observe a kaleidoscope turning.” In fact, the 500-square-foot interior is a head-spinning kinetic experience dominated by aqua-painted corrugated aluminum.
The color is intended to be an allusion to the freshness of the shop’s ingredients while simultaneously lending a futuristic touch. Protruding from that backdrop is a sprinkling of circular frames. Some contain elements dedicated to shifting perceptions—magnifying glasses, mirrors, light fixtures, and, yes, kaleidoscope parts. Others allow views into the kitchen and prep area. Still others address programmatic needs, displaying the menu and descriptions of flavors and concoctions to tempt the neighborhood residents out for a stroll through the plaza outside. To which we can only add: delicioso.