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We understand Terra's organic approach through the architect Bone Studio.
Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · Mar 22nd, 2021
Terra Eatery is looked upon as one of Dubai's hottest new openings, thanks to its architecture derived from local inspirations as well as its focus on developing Mediterranean dishes with local produce. We get in touch with Natalie Mahakian & Achraf Mzily, Co-founders of Bone Studio to discuss the project.
"Terra embodies a timeless eatery, where traditional construction and application techniques evoke a homelike and hospitable experience. Aware of the busy and loud surroundings, Bone aimed to create a retreat from the buzzing city — Terra is designed to contrast the urban surroundings.
For Bone, creating a sheltering atmosphere was imperative. The interior space is reminiscent of a courtyard. The lush garden envelopes the shop and acts as a natural barrier from the surrounding streets while sheltering its inhabitants in the grounded terrace. Interwoven amongst the interior space, the greenery allows guests to enjoy a private moment during their dining experience. Five- meter-high pivoting glass doors welcome visitors to the interior dining space from all three facades. The shop faces the east, allowing sharp rays of sunlight to penetrate through the clear glass doors during the brisk hours of the day. The sunlight also exposes the hues and undulations of the clay walls and uneven surfaces of the terracotta tiles."
"A slot punctuates the cacao walls and frames the hand-hammered column at the center of the space. The tailor-made kitchen displays the talent that prevails behind the Mediterranean cuisine and allows guests to enjoy the culinary energy. All equipment is integrated, producing a refined working space with seamless counters.
With a strong desire to blend architecture and craftmanship, Bone worked alongside several talented specialists that helped compose the space. The raw earth surfaces emulate different colors that are natural and pigment free. Clays from different parts of Italy have been sourced by Matteo Brioni, who developed the traditional raw earth surface finish that is healthy, hypoallergenic, versatile, and sinuously adaptable to any surface. Matteo’s brothers, who own Fornace Brioni, have also collaborated with Bone to compose the terracotta floor tiles that grace the space with their imperfections and artisanal craft.
The earthy materiality and hues of Terra play an essential role in the intimate feel of the space as the monochromatic palette soothes the brutalist forms. Warm materials were considered, such as reclaimed and weathered woods, linen fabrics, smoked metals, as well as handmade ceramics. The strategically arranged projector and spotlights lay emphasis on the romantic atmosphere and the different textures and tones of the space."
The total space of the eatery spans 300 sqm, composed of 200 sqm indoors and 100 sqm of outdoor space. The project was completed in November 2020 and the architectural & decorative lighting is from Flos, Italy. The door system has been conceived by Oryx in Dubai, UAE and the furniture is by Restoration Hardware, USA and Internoitaliono, Italy.
All images by Oculis Project