Artisan tile brings waterfront lounge to life
The Bluewave Cocktail Bar at OneOcean Club in Barcelona, Spain, features colorful handmade tile which aided in creating its aquatic-inspired ambiance
Marina Port Vell is one of Barcelona’s main attractions. Located within the renowned Port Vell, the marina has recently become the new hub for superyachts in the Mediterranean. About one minute away, along Port Vell, is a private members’ club and restaurant known as OneOcean Club, which features an exuberant, tile-clad cocktail bar, Bluewave.
With an open layout that spans 2,100 square feet, Bluewave Cocktail Bar is an intimate luxury lounge that incorporates less than two dozen seats and an outdoor terrace. To highlight its water edge location, the chic bar was created using decorative handmade tiles from a local family business, Cerámica Cumella.
A team of three designers — Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo and Lucas Echeveste Lacy — from El Equipo Creativo in Barcelona worked together to design Bluewave, which is clad from top to bottom in clamshell-shaped ceramic tiles in several different shades of blue and white. The colorful tiles from Cerámica Cumella emulate the look of scales on a Koi fish and were custom-made for this project, according to the design firm.
“Our objective was to design a ‘custom-made suit’ which fits perfectly with the client’s gastronomic concept, his target clientele, the location and surroundings in which we find ourselves,” explained Schmidt. “These components helped us develop a concept which serves as a guide.”
When the designers were looking for tile to employ in the space, they turned to a three-generation business in Barcelona, which is known for working with local architects and designers. “We like to create special pieces with the characteristics we look for in each space we are designing,” said Schmidt. “For years, they have worked for architects and designers creating unique pieces for each project. In the studio, we like working with artisans who pay special attention to detail in every piece and during the whole process.”
The handmade tiles, which cover the walls and floors, were also used to create the bar’s backsplash and ceiling pieces. “Two basic tile forms were created for the project,” explained the designer. “On one hand, a piece with a clamshell shape in seven different shades of blue, used on the floor, wall and ceiling, which depict color degradation of water and create the sensation of foam; and on the other hand, its negative: a deep blue, arched ceiling and wall that allows light. The pieces are presented in different finishes, matte and shiny, and participate in the play of light.”
Almost 4,000 tiles — roughly 1,300 square feet — were created and employed throughout the bar. The walls incorporate the darkest blue tiles, which fade into lighter blue tiles on the floor near the bar, and ultimately, white tiles near the outdoor terrace. “To create the wave-like feeling, we used one single tiny and reflective material on the floors, walls and ceiling, unifying the space and strengthening the wrapping sensation of our particular wave,” said Schmidt.
The space took around 14 months to design and construct, and has received various awards since, including this year’s first prize in “Interior Design” at the annual Tile of Spain Awards and in “International Tile Design” at the Coverings Installation & Design (CID) Awards. “We are very happy with the response from the visitors and press, along with the various awards the restaurant has received,” said Schmidt.
Bluewave Cocktail Bar at OneOcean Club
Designer: El Equipo Creativo, Barcelona, Spain
Tile Supplier: Cerámica Cumella, Barcelona, Spain
Installer: Vintage Concept, S.L., Barcelona, Spain