The owners of Compartir Barcelona wanted to capture the essence of the Mediterranean town of Cadaqués, Spain, home to their first restaurant, in their new gastronomic concept in Barcelona. Slate roads, blue windows to the sea, vessels rocking on the bay, and wicker artisanship invading its streets are part of the artsy spirit of Dali's town. The concept by El Equipo Creativo aims to recreate this picturesque spirit yet reinterpreting it from a contemporary urban perspective.
The restaurant is located in a classic venue in the Eixample district, with a spectacular steel structure dated back to the beginning of the past century. One of those spaces where one would envision an art gallery with large abstract paintings, which is so common in this neighborhood.
This is how El Equipo Creativo imagined the design: an ample white space presided by three blue abstract "windows" - a sculptural, a pictorial and a textile one - towards the Mediterranean Sea. Each of these "windows" became an opportunity to collaborate with a different local artist, with whom the architects created custom-made pieces for the project.
The architects thoroughly researched traditional and local construction techniques and materials of the Spanish Mediterranean coast, specifically those of Cadaqués. Wicker, stucco, ceramic tiles, slate stone, etc., are reinterpreted through a contemporary perspective in order to use them in new and surprising ways in the design.
The objective was to bring warm, light materiality to the spaces, translated into white textured surfaces with a general handmade touch. Different natural materials connect us with the architectural landscape of Cadaqués. The grey hue of the slate stone and its application in trencadís (traditional Mediterranean technique), together with the natural terracotta tile color, contrasting with the abstract and intense blue of the windows, create a powerful set that can be read in almost pictorial terms and are intended to dialogue with the stunning compositions of color and texture of the dishes of the restaurant.
The curved shapes of mirrors and wicker dividers bring a warm counterpoint to the blue windows, converted into lamps of light scattered along the space, and bringing privacy to the tables, one of the client's priorities. They recreate an abstract landscape of sails and vessels, referencing the bay of Cadaqués. Bars and kitchens have simple and bold shapes, and they perform as energy nodes activating the different areas of the restaurant.
All materials were locally sourced and all design elements were locally produced, which avoided long transports lowering CO2 emissions. Timing and budget were quite reduced, becoming two of the project's main constraints. Collaborating with small local brands, construction companies, artists and artisans was the best option to streamline all processes and work collaboratively.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Client: Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch y Mateu Casañas, Nil Dulcet
Floor Area: 400 m2
Interior Design: El Equipo Creativo
Partners: Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, Lucas Echeveste Lacy
Team leaders: Daniel Trujillo, Ricard Fabregat
Photography by Adrià Goula, courtesy of El Equipo Creativo