Enhancing the Eatery Experience

Fact File

  • Project Title: Txalupa Gastroleku Restaurant
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Practice: El Equipo Creativo
  • Architects: Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, and Lucas Echeveste Lacy
  • Client: Gastroleku Group
  • Floor Area: 190 m²
  • Photography Credits: Adrià Goula

Colours enhance the quality of interior space. Colour and architecture play to differentiate and appreciate spaces while weaving an exquisite essence and mood. An integrated mix of colour palette composes a symphony that elates the whole restaurant experience. The Txalupa Gastroleku Restaurant set in Barcelona, Spain is a bar cum club designed by the creative team El Equipo Creativo that resonate in these expressions with a suggestive red staircase that marks its initial vibe, thereby taking you on a journey filled with textures and tones dancing and unveiling a fantastic eatery.

The project began with a pintxos (small tapas) bar in the old part of San Sebastian, which had to be transformed entirely due to a change of ownership, without losing part of the essence of these traditional pintxos bars, with their long bars full of exposed tapas and their lively and casual atmosphere.

The bar is located on Fermín Calbetón Street, a classic street of pintxos in San Sebastian. This street connects to the port. The small fishing boats still dock to La Bretxa market, the old fish market in the city which still maintains the use of the gastronomic market. Its old name, Txalupa is how the small and colourful fishing boats are called. The name became an opportunity to talk about the essence of this neighbourhood which is inseparable from the sea.

The bar on the ground floor has been designed with a clear reference to the port and its colour. The water of the port of San Sebastian, with a certain depth and calm, acquires a dark greenish hue, which becomes the main tone of the space. The curved wooden bar references the txalupas, both in its tones and in its materiality.

The handmade ceramic pieces, designed specifically for the project, helped to introduce an aquatic effect through its intense turquoise colour, its imperfections and its brightness.

As a colour counterpoint, ropes were introduced which is a typical material in traditional fishing nets. These strings aided in giving some privacy and personality to the tables. At the same time, they provide contrast to the depth of the turquoise background due to their light and warm tones.

In the basement, an antagonistic space needed to be created: a small private club, with a nocturnal and sophisticated atmosphere where selected snacks and cocktails are offered. Our design finds inspiration in an old boat cellar where the warm golden wood-tone envelops us, in contrast to the blue maritime floor.

The connecting stairway between the two spaces becomes one of the main protagonists of the project. Due to its symbolism, a narrow and mysterious tunnel tinted with red light helps the place to attract customers in search of a more nocturnal and forbidden experience.

Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, & Lucas Echeveste Lacy

El Equipo Creativo

EL EQUIPO CREATIVO, a studio based in Barcelona lead by architects Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, and Lucas Echeveste Lacy specialized in the interior design of gastronomic, commercial, brand and hospitality spaces. Since 2010, they have worked for some of the most prestigious chefs in the world, like Ferran and Albert Adrià, and their designs include four Michelin star restaurants. Their projects have been recognized in more than 40 international design awards. El Equipo Creativo begins now a new professional phase with international projects and as the directors of the Master of Interior Design at the Instituto Europeo di Design de Barcelona.

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