Muelle Kay is a new seafood restaurant, located in the city of Merida, Yucatan in southeastern Mexico. The word Muelle means dock or pier in Spanish and Kay comes from the Mayan word fish. The goal of this project was to create a space that felt like a homey restaurant along the pier, so we decide to use materials that are commonly seen and accessible in local ports such as crates for exhibiting fish, wooden planks, ropes and sailcloth among others in a re interpretative way, achieving a modern yet casual style.
The access area intends to feel as domestic and improvised room to accommodate tables and is also where the bar counter welcomes the customers. Its design comes from the idea of using stacked crates as a quick and spontaneous way to support the black granite counter. The crates in the back of the bar have the dual function of dividing the space between the bar and the staircase leading to the mezzanine and serving as focal point and as a sculptural element inside the restaurant.
In the mezzanine there is a rustic looking metal beam where a glass railing is anchored as a limit of the space. This part has the highest capacity of commensals in the restaurant, having tables and a booth area. In its ceiling wooden planks that mimic a pier are displayed, emerging from the back wall and converging with the sailcloth ceiling from the double height space where the rope lamps are hung.
It is important to mention the usefulness of the ceilings, which besides having an esthetic reason, they act as lamps at night. The access area has reflectors that are covered by the sailcloth and the mezzanine has LED strips in the grout of the planks, creating a harmonious game of light and shadows in the restaurant.
The water closet is divided into two parts; the area of the sinks with counter made of a local limestone called crema maya that has the same casual look as the rest of the restaurant; and the part of the toilets that has a bolder design, where all of the walls and ceilings are covered with small tiles of different shades of blue as a mosaic, creating the impression of being under water.
The integral design is mainly ruled with the idea that the restaurant projects itself as a friendly and relaxed place where people can gather to enjoy seafood and tropical drinks in the city with an atmosphere and a feeling of familiarity and camaraderie.