Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

 

New-York based Studio Cadena has designed Masa, a restaurant and bakery in Bogotá, Colombia founded by sisters Silvana and Mariana Villegas. Helmed by Colombian native Benjamin Cadena, this is the second time Studio Cadena have worked with Masa, designing their first café that opened back in 2014. Round two proved to be a much bigger project. The restaurant’s impressive 700 sqm size is due to being built on a residential scale, on the site of a former house that went through many iterations over the years.

Studio Cadena organised the space into distinct, yet interconnected areas, each with a particular function. A café and bakery flaws on to a central entrance, adjacent to a dining area and separate retail space. A patio with outdoor seating connects the public domains to the kitchen at the rear. Bespoke furnishings designed in-house, such as a long concrete bar, cylindrical timber-clad service station, and multi-tiered seating platform serve to modulate the space.

“The idea is that everything is connected, but the spaces remain fragmented for intimacy. The design defines distinct spatial volumes yet allows you to move through them with the freedom of an open plan,” says Cadena. Bogotá is subject to unpredictable, often chilly weather thanks to its high altitude, so sheltering patrons from the cold was a priority. Dramatic triangular cutout windows give a faux al-fresco effect, providing the openness of an indoor-outdoor design without exposing anyone to the elements.

 

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

Masa Bakery in Bogota, Colombia by Studio Cadena | Yellowtrace

 

From the street, the jagged windows offer a peek inside the action-packed café, tempting patrons to head inside. “We wanted to be sure that you could always feel the presence of what’s being made here, that the space remained open to itself and to the street, and was inviting to the city,” says Cadena.

Besides the abundant pastry counter, sculptural lights made from hand-painted mesh steal the show in Masa’s main dining area, juxtaposing the textured concrete exterior. The floor is also something to behold, made from large-scale hand-cast terrazzo tiles, common throughout Bogotá. The playful construction features minimal Masa branding. “The strategy from a design standpoint was that the building does the work,” says Cadena.

The combination of photogenic pastries and inspired design makes Masa – dare we say it – highly Instagrammable. But it’s not all for the show. Besides their self-proclaimed mission to bake the best bread in Bogotá, the Villegas sisters nobly intend for Masa locations to provide calm respite from the sometimes-chaotic city. This is definitely the kind of place you’d want to order your coffee to stay.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Studio Cadena. Photography by Naho Kubota.]

 

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