Architect Mariana Flombaum saved an old shipping container from the landfill by turning it into a creperie. Called Urban Crepe, the container-restaurant located in an open-air mall in Buenos Aires serves delicious sweet and salty French wraps to shoppers and passersby. Its industrial aesthetic acknowledges the former railroad zone and its lush green wall blooms in many shades of green and purple.
Urban Crepe is located at the ‘Distrito Arcos Premium Outlet’, an open-air mall in a former railway area within Palermo. Its massive discount clothing stores are sheltered in re-adapted railway warehouses once left to disuse. Old brick vaults were also turned into shops topped by a functioning train track manufactured in Liverpool back in the 1900s.
There are many food choices for hungry shoppers within the area, but Urban Crepe definitely stands out from the crowd. It took local architect Mariana Flombaum only two months to complete the stall. She did everything-first she sourced the steel box, then made the apertures, placed it on site, insulated it, installed water and energy, furnished it, painted it green and then planted the green wall.
Mariana told Inhabitat why she chose to blend a repurposed container with a green wall. “I was approached to design a food stall that was hermetic, durable and weatherproof,” she said. “So inspired by the industrial British backdrop and the drive to give something old a second life, I went for a shipping container. In contrast with the cool contemporary aesthetic I thought that a green wall would add some freshness and life to it,” she adds. Measuring 10 x 8.5 foot, the vertical garden has an automatic watering system right inside the container’s roof box, where the brand’s logo is also placed.
The lush facade comprised of a geotextile liner and pockets stuffed with plants adds beauty to an already great spot for eating crepes al-fresco. The outdoor custom-made furniture is sturdy and keeps the client’s belongings safe. Mariana designed the rest of the seating area, as well as the entire brand concept, logo and furniture-basically everything but the crepes themselves.
The tables were crafted in collaboration with local studio La Feliz. The green cable seats are inspired by traditional Paraguayan designs and the concrete stools, which belong to the mall, are Diana Cabeza’s designs.
Urban Crepe sells 16 varieties of sweet and salty crepes. Its small yet well-equipped kitchen is clean and tidy, and can fit up to 4 people working inside. The French pancakes‘ thin dough comes complete with oats, and are dangerously delicious.
Skilfully made on a round iron pan, the crepes are then filled with fresh seasonal vegetables, cheese and other fillings for non-vegetarian clients. The sweet crepes, also mouth-watering, can include everything from fresh fruit, marshmallows, syrup, mixed nuts, Nutella and off course, the classic Argentine dulce de leche (caramel).
This stall has been such a success, 3 new Urban Crepe stalls are expected to open soon. So if you are in the beautiful Argentinian capital, keep an eye out for an unforgettable gastronomical experience.
Photos © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat