interior design / hospitality

Santa Ana, Costa Rica | 2018
Photography: Andrés García Lachner

Salma, is a commercial space dedicated to the creation of salads, soups and organic products. Despite being a small place, we wanted to work on a very consistent concept with the nature of the product. This is why we gave it an urban accent of “green house”, with the intention of “generating life” inside: turning it into a place that invites you to “be”: comfortable, fresh and natural (like its food concept). The result is a space with its own character, that welcomes the visitor from the first moment, thanks to a strong reminiscence of what we could call a “tropical jungle”. A preponderant element is the geometric metal structure that brings a contemporary feel to the space, as well as the custom graphic design inspired by the jungle, which is found on the wallpaper. For this project, materials such as rattan, wood, and metal were used. Wallpapers inspired by plant shapes and textures were personified to bring life to the space.

So, there is a strong narrative resource born of mythical narratives and their protagonists; highlighting the figure of the warrior, the so-called Jaguar Negro, a soldier of excellence, chosen by fate to perform with courage and appreciated by all within their culture. He, as a great host, is the starting point for the design of the soul, presenting itself throughout the space in various forms. And to maximize this experience and sharpen it, the aroma of copal (a type of incense used by these Mexican towns to clean the spirit and spaces) welcomes the visitor from the entrance hall. The mysticism is unique and acquires modernity in details such as the colors used, in emerald green, oranges and burnt gold, in honor of the totems and Gold, metal closely related to the pre-Hispanic tribes. Undoubtedly, the symbolism and cosmogony (understood as a way of perceiving the Universe) of these people, also have their place of honor in various decorative resources and in the signage, forcefully recalling the soul of civilizations already iconic.

All these resources coexist with the reminiscence of the enclosure to an old house, which could well be located in an Agave crop and stands out for its refinement and simplicity at the same time. These details of a Mexican hacienda, such as wood, wicker, mud and volcanic stone, can be observed throughout the space, generating together a visual spectacle full of harmony and movement. A large suspension in the middle of the main hall, as well as the railings, adorned in mecate and strategically placed pieces of macramé, are part of a contemporary language and a twist of this traditional past. The lighting, a relevant theme, allows to make Jaguar Negro a delight to the senses at nightfall, when the drama takes over the place, playing with pinkish tones and awakening the soul of the warrior. In synthesis, Jaguar Negro is a true tribute to Mexican identity and its essence, represented in a meeting of eras that go hand-to-hand and coexist to offer a magical and unique experience.


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