Barcelona restaurant embraces oceanic theme
A new culinary experience in Barcelona, Spain that transports visitors to a marine world was inspired by the forms, textures and colors of tuna
Balfegó is the surname of a family from a small town on the Catalan coast, who for five generations, have fished red tuna in the Mediterranean. Today, Balfegó is one of the largest international producers of red tuna, and is highly regarded by the world’s most famous chefs, particularly from Japan. However, the brand name, Balfegó, is largely unknown to the majority of the consumers.
To further business, the Balfegó family recently approached Barcelona-based interior design and architecture firm, El Equipo Creativo, to create a gastronomic space that would promote red tuna as a quality product and, at the same time, make the brand known to the general public.
From that, TunaTeca Balfegó came to life, which is situated on the Avenida Diagonal, one of the principal commercial and communication arteries of Barcelona. The interior design of the restaurant is intended to become another element of communication regarding the world of the red tuna. Each of the zones reflects a different aspect of the product.
The principal area, otherwise known as the “Blue Room,” transports guests to the depths of the sea. “A large translucid, five-meter-high curtain outlines the area turning it into a deep, organic, undulating space,” said designers, Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo and Lucas Echeveste Lacy of El Equipo Creativo in Barcelona, Spain. “Within, three large oval stainless steel bars with dark stone tops remind us of the large tuna swimming through the space and articulate the area of the restaurant.”
The busiest area of the Blue Room is the five-meter-long sushi bar, where the sushi chefs prepare homemade sushi. Hanging from the ceiling are wavy, semi-opaque decorations with lighting features, intended to replicate a school of fish swimming above, which make you feel completely immersed in the sea. The fish-like fixtures continue throughout other areas of the restaurant as well to provide a similar effect.
“The pieces of blue ceramic pavement on the floor, designed specifically for this project and made by a family of local ceramists, are intended to recreate, through their trapezoidal form and irregular coloring, a sea bed in consonance with the total design,” according to the designers.
In line with its culinary nature, the Balfegó family has held public “ronqueo” sessions in different areas of the city of Barcelona for many years, attended by numerous chefs and professionals of this sector. Thus, the locale required a reserved large area where ronqueos sessions could be held.
“It was decided that a ceramic wrapping would convert the room into a clean and aseptic space, while at the same time making reference to another aspect of the red tuna: the skin with its shiny blue and silver scales,” said the designers. “For that, we designed trapezoidal ceramic pieces in different tonalities and had them placed on the floor and walls, generating degrading tones, which achieve a magical and mysterious atmosphere. These tiles where again fabricated by a local ceramist family.”
TunaTeca Balfegó Barcelona, Spain
Architect: El Equipo Creativo, Barcelona, Spain
Tile Supplier: Ceràmica Cumella, Barcelona, Spain