Taller Ken, a New York and Guatemala-based architecture practice known for its playful take on design, brought a tropical haven right into the middle of Guatemala City. Madero Cafe is quirky and energetic, with plenty of colors and plants to create an unexpected oasis near a busy highway.
Inspired by a greenhouse, the open-air space has sawtooth skylights to light up the interior, which is full of patterns, materials, and textures sourced locally. Not to mention a few vintage cars! Custom-made concrete tiling with different colors and patterns act as a way-finding guide, so that customers can explore the restaurant’s different nooks and crannies.
On the outside, there are custom operable shutters comprised of steel panels inter-woven with dowels to create a unified facade. It looks like a monolithic red block punctuated with protruding cars that look like they’ve collided with the building. Definitely something amusing to look at for drivers stuck in traffic!