The remarkable restaurant project of the renowned Torres brothers has been devised as a temple for the senses and also as a hub of expertise.
Between tradition and experimentation, Roca aimed to express this innovative concept by shaping charismatic bathroom spaces. The innovative lines of the Insignia faucets and the Beyond basins were rounded out by the modern practicality of the Hotel’s accessories in a gloss metallic finish.
Why they trusted Roca
The bathroom spaces of a restaurant need to live up to the creativity and prestige of its gastronomic offer but also to the intensive use of its visitors. The choice of these Roca collections made it possible to go further in terms of shapes while providing at the same time the latest technologies for savings –such as the Cold Start system of the faucets- or the more practical solutions for safety and durability of the accessories for public use.
Right from the start Sergio and Javier Torres defined what they were after in a few words: “More than a restaurant with a kitchen we’d like to create a kitchen with a restaurant.” With this clear and ambitious premise in mind and with the acquisition on their part of a former industrial shed of almost 800 m2, which it was necessary to completely overhaul, the project could begin.
In situating the kitchen in the epicenter of the restaurant the old concept is resurrected of the café-theater, places where diners enjoy a show while they eat. Here, though, the show will consist of the actual preparation of the dishes they will be tasting. Added to which, thanks to having chosen an industrial shed as a great container, the experience diners have of personally living through a “performance” is emphasized. Being in such a huge shed is like being present in a television studio or a modern theater.
Thanks to the collaboration of the Roca company the floor is ceramic. As it should be, the way traditional kitchens have always been, like the one the brothers cooked in with their grandmother Catalina when they were small. The unit is of a special format designed specifically for the Restaurant. An extended flooring using the same material for every area, the most elegant ones and those of the personnel. It was essential to understand the integral nature of the intervention.
We decided the bathrooms would be the exception to the rule: there we introduced Iroko wood, which makes them very comfortable. An atmosphere was sought that was contrary to the central space, one more typical of a ship’s cabin and not a huge industrial shed.
The main protagonists will always be the client, the chef, and the dishes. As for the others, the less they are noticed the better. Concessions—the minimum. To that end we availed ourselves of a single decorative element of great size: a big black and gold curtain that occupies the whole side wall and is backlit, making it possible to play with the light in a magical way. An indispensable ingredient in architecture, light will be what we speak of next.
In this obsession with eliminating the superfluous and unnecessary there insistently appears the presence of the color black in almost the entire restaurant. Black emerges as the counterpoint to the white of the plates, the tablecloth and the uniform of the chefs, which acquire their protagonism thanks to blanketing all of them in an indefinite matt-black space. Moreover, the color black enables us to do the same with the light as with the décor. Thanks to it we can illuminate what is interesting. The rest will remain lost in the immensity of the shed. As in a theater or concert hall where it is the stage, the actors or the musicians that are illuminated.
Hereon in there begins a magical game, which thanks to the presence of glass which provides reflections and to the darkness of the main room and the presence of mysterious hanging lights there occurs what the brothers have ultimately defined as “the premises of our dreams.”
MATERIALITY Once the organization of the space has been defined, an element of great importance comes into play for ensuring that the culinary experience occurs with the degree of comfort and convenience that it merits. In order to try and nuance the undeniable fact that we are dining in an industrial shed a series of materials are introduced that tone down and even manage to produce a sort of ambiguity between being, initially, in a cold space of huge proportions as opposed to an agreeable, warm and welcoming space. The tables with tablecloths, the cushioned seats, and even the presence of the occasional carpet will temper things and provide comfort as well as help to control the acoustics of the room.
THE LIGHT For the ambient lighting of the main room we worked with the designer Pete Sans on the creation of what we called “the clouds,” lamps that precisely sought to fulfill several objectives. Through the presence of hundreds or thousands of small lights the lamp evokes a starlit space, and thanks to the reflections in the glass panels of the room and in the skylights a multifarious magical effect is produced. The lamps are situated strategically at a constant height of 2.55 m, which permits the construction of an imaginary or virtual ceiling in which all that is above appears, through being painted black, to recede or to disappear. Thus the ceiling is not clearly seen but only intuited.
THE THRESHOLD And we will end at the beginning: the entrance door and the façade, which we knew would become a threshold separating the space of the imaginary from the urban reality of the barrio of Les Corts in Barcelona.
To that end, after thinking long and hard about what we ought to do, we decided to respect the interior form of the shed, with its gabled roof, and to reaffirm the formal archetype of a house. Secondly, the brothers conveyed the importance to us of the four seasons of the year, of working with seasonal products. So we decided that the best way of representing this would be via nature. In concrete terms, to do with a wood and how the seasons of the year transform it.
For years Carlos has followed the work of the painter and muralist Regina Saura, who in some of her recent exhibitions has focused on the representation of trees and woods. So we asked her to participate in the project and to create an artwork for the façade to do with the idea of a wood. We think that Regina’s façade manages to transmit the message of seasonality due to the different tonalities of the leaves (in the colors of winter, summer, autumn and spring) and at the same time conveys the contrast with the reality of the urban context. We can understand the act of entering Cocina Hermanos Torres in two ways: by crossing a wood in the city or acceding to their new house in a wood. In any event the façade is a threshold, a place in which we abandon the exterior space of the street, which once crossed enables us to live quasi-imaginary experiences. All this thanks to the organization of the space, to the use of materials, and to the play of light. But above all, the interior space becomes a dream when savoring the latest creations of Sergio and Javier Torres.
Material Used : 1. Kitchens: Cocinas Rull 2. Pavement: ceramic, ROCA sanitarios 3. Ceramic surfaces kitchen: TPB 4. Lighting: IGuzzini 5. Glass: Tvitec 6. Metalwork: Talleres V.Montón 7. Wood carpentry: Fustería Ollé 8. Aluminum coatings: Alucoil 9. Aluminum profiles: Reynaers 10. Façade painting supply: Akzo Nobel 11. Golden curtain supply: Baumann 12. Manufacture and supply curtains: Fader 13. Venetian blinds: Best-Form 14. Chairs and seats: Andreu World 15. Bar stools: BD Design 16. TV screens: Samsung