19.86 by Rubén Arnanz is our newest restoration project located in the emblematic Galería Canalejas in Madrid. In this space created for the Segovian chef with Michelin Star, we wanted to represent and point out the value of the Castilian gastronomy.
Castile represents, better than any other place, Spain’s identity since time immemorial. Its hard palate can find in 19.86 the perfect scenario, so that it gets engraved on fire, wood and stone in our sensorial memory. The space itself invites visitors to our gastronomy and it is a white canvas so that the imagination of Rubén Arnanz and his team, paint it with the colors and flavors of a very contrast-rich land.
The used materials, like granite, chestnut wood and stainless steel, have the enough quality and weight to don’t need anything else. Our responsibility when designing the project was to find beauty and comfort in what was strictly necessary.
The space is a reflection of the gastronomic offer. A layout of brushed-steel tables with its content and irregular shape, fills with movement a space full of curves and life. The bush-hammered granite floor brings us to the streets of Segovia or of any city in Castilla, where the material has been witness of its history since Roman times.
The ceiling plays a crucial role in the project, far from hiding it, we wanted to integrate it as an essential part of the design, where the big contrast with the simplicity of the restaurant, shows a dense, clashing architecture, where just adding the clay color we get an element that works almost as an art piece inside our space. An artwork that fills up and goes down the boiled clay pillars, with cylindrical shapes following the live and organic character in all the project. This handcrafted, imperfect and clean ceramic keeps its path with the two bars closing the space, adding local taste in a scenario that helps them to shine, without stealing them importance.
All the space is covered with chestnut wood, an almost forgotten wood. Apart from having a very characteristic tone and a strong grain, it is very traditional in Castilla, where chestnuts grow in environments where no other species give shade.
The stainless steel contrasts with the wood in a perfect harmony warm / cold, that emphasizes the colors and flavors of the different dishes. A material that brings closer in a sensorial and direct way, the food from Ruben Arnanz to its clients. A way of bringing out the stoves, sheets and pans to the table. An austere material in a scenario to not take importance to what is really important, and that is the magic that Ruben and his team make after the stoves.
The lighting in the restaurant is strictly efficient. It is fantastic not to see a simple decorative lamp, but the light generated by some spotlights (Anvil from B.lux) that let visitors in shadows to highlight the color, textures and ingredients of the food. The lighting accomplishes its mission of highlighting the essential. It is flanked by a series of small lamps with the logo of the restaurant that generates architecture and some light accents over the stainless steel and it allows guests to have some privacy sharing table or bar.
To sum up, it is a raw space, loyal to its captain, respectful and sustainable where the use of each material is strictly measured to not waste anything,