The air smells like the sea, and early in the morning fishermen stock some of the restaurants that still speak to the memory of the local community. These places have become symbols in the city, offering an authentic experience of the Mediterranean gastronomic culture and cuisine. When asked to redesign these kind of mythical spaces, how should we intervene as designers? How do we create a sense of timelessness, in between tradition and contemporaneity?
Cheriff is part of Barceloneta’s memory. A classic in the neighbourhood, it needed an atemporal design that preserved the authenticity time bestowed onto the restaurant. As part of a strategy seeking timelessness, the distribution into compact areas (typical of the fish shop), was kept in tact in order to speak to the local community. As designer Massimo Vignelli described it, timelessness is created when things are easily understood. He spoke of “intellectual elegance”, as simplicity is by no means “simple”, but rather the result of a long process of experimentation, revaluation and refining. Including artisanry into design means making it human. “The arts of the people” evokes notions of uniqueness, honesty and attention to detail.
Artisanry is present in the reinvention of Cheriff’s terrazo, a technique to flooring passed through generations of forming artisan maestros. It’s a composite material consisting of chips of marble, quartz, granite and glass, and is poured in place with a cementitious binder, polymeric, or a combination of both, allowing for multiple colors, complex designs, and whimsical patterns to be constructed. Combined with the soft textile elements in white (curtains and tablecloths), an intimate atmosphere comes into being.
The initial wood and brass materials are recycled into reddish wooden panels and carpentry. The design introduces thereon an additional dark blue, ephemeral and changing like the sea, in various materials and textures.Formally, the curves and preserved arches, would divide the different areas in the restaurant.
摄影：José Hevia, Mesura
Project Name: Cheriff Restaurant
Photography: José Hevia, Mesura