- EL EQUIPO CREATIVO and playing with opposites
When you're talking about interior design connected to the world of hospitality, Catalan-based studio EL EQUIPO CREATIVO is a guarantee, as testified by their many awards and accolades, including the Build Architecture Awards 2017 as “Best Commercial Interior Design Firm – Spain”.
As the name suggests, the El Mama & La Papa Restaurant and Cocktail Bar project plays on contradictions in terms and on opposites to create an eclectic location even where there is already a rather lively, varied offer, like in Barcelona.
The design team from EL EQUIPO CREATIVO refurbished an old canning factory, an imposing structure that has been accentuated by the use of the colour red as the “fil rouge” uniting the different areas. The concept of dualism and opposites is immediately underscored because every element of the whole has its counterpoint. The large neon signs in the four corners of the restaurant immediately confront us with these oxymorons: Never – Again; Peace – Force; Holy – Hell; Public – Secret.
The double height central spaces between two arcades form the backdrop for the two bars: “El Mama”, a gentle-looking space with plants, timber detailing and white surfaces is for use during the day, and of course, this is countered by the “La Papa” cocktail bar on the other side. Here, the black arcade is accentuated by the use of industrial-style black metal surfaces in a careful interplay between material contrasts that is repeated throughout the room, from exposed concrete to fine timber, from the pipework to the walls through to the elegant ceramics.
The style differences between the two bars are softened in the different areas by structural platforms - connected by catwalk-style bridges - where the more private areas are located, including a “secret bar” or speakeasy where you can withdraw to for more confidential conversation.
El Mama & La Papa is a diversified space but at the same time it is united by the multi-layered concept begging to be explored and where you can let yourself get caught up in the mood of the moment right through to the end of the evening, when the dance floor materialises in the middle of the different levels and platforms.
Project: EL EQUIPO CREATIVO (Oliver Franz Schmidt + Natali Canas del Pozo + Lucas Echeveste Lacy)
Neon design: Alex Trochut
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Photography: Adrià Goula