Ling Ling, Mexico City

Owner: Hakkasan Group
Interior design: Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
Furnishings: made to measure
Photo credits: LGM Studio

Ling Ling is an unexpected restaurant covering 1,000 square meters of the 56th floor of one of the three tallest skyscrapers on the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Chapultepec Uno, and despite its soaring height, recreating the atmosphere of a traditional Mexican courtyard. More than 700 feet above street level, the Sordo Madaleno architecture firm designed a space with structures and porticoes with lush plant life that takes advantage of its corner location to impress patrons with a 270° view of the city. Making use of a wide palette of plant hues and light, the entire design’s driving force, the restaurant opens as a place full of character, both inside and outside.

Sordo Madaleno made use of a formal design approach, using structural elements and construction methods that served to render the boundary between architecture and interior design fluid.

The unexpected style seduces patrons as soon as they cross the threshold. The cocoon-shaped lobby is wrapped by a semi-circular wooden structure that holds the neon-lit contour of the Ling Ling logo. A diaphanous backlit fabric cover helps create an atmosphere of suspense before guests are ushered into the surprisingly grandiose interiors.

The internal lounge and dining room are enclosed within a wooden vaulted structure made with the technique of stereotomy and highlighted by subtle lighting, featuring custom furnishings. Under this protection, the Sushi Bar offers a view of the chefs at work, while the main bar incorporates a perfect frame of the city’s skyline with a dynamic furnishing component.

But the true heart of Ling Ling is its terrace. The space is defined by a wooden portico and lots of natural light that pours into the triple-height atrium where the plants climb to frame a full-size tree and a mural depicting Xochitl, Aztec goddess of beauty, flowers and love, hand painted by the Mexican artist Paola Delfín, part of the Open Art Foundation, a program initiated by the founder of Sordo Madaleno.