In our previous article about Casa Decor, the international interior design show taking place this month in Barcelona, we weren't sure they stuck to their self-implied title Pathway to a Sustainable Environment (or "Rumbo Sostenible" in Spanish). However, amongst the non-convincing projects and confusing messages, the design of the restaurant makes a refreshing difference. Designed by Barcelona-based Nancy Robbins Design Studio, we'd like to invite you to take a closer look at a precious piece of recycled interior design. Read on to see more images.
The first thing you notice when you enter the 2,690 square feet space with its 18,5 feet high ceilings is the patchwork of unusual materials that give it a warm and unique feel. Looking closer you can identify certain materials that have been recycled, such as recycled wooden pallets, which have been attached vertically to cover the raw concrete walls. Used cardboard has also been skilfully used to cover other areas, playfully contrasting some of the left bare walls.
To fully take advantage of the height, an impressive chandelier (right image below) formed by a 375 square foot grid of cables and CFL light bulbs wrapped in used bubble wrap, has been designed to be the centre piece of the restaurant, said also to absorb sound. Discarded lampshade moulds were also turned into a series of new lamp shades for individual lighting over the tables (left image).
The brief the designers were given by Casa Decor was to build an elegant, comfortable and commercially viable restaurant with sustainable materials, on a limited budget and time span for the temporary period of one month. The latter is especially important when choosing the materials, considering they will only be used for a short period. On the other hand, the restaurant has already had offers to recreate it in a different place permanently. The designers worked together with AIDIMA, the Spanish Technology Institute of furniture, packaging, transport and related industries, based South of Barcelona in Valencia. AIDIMA collaborate with a large number of different companies and manufacturers in those sectors, and were able to source some of the recycled materials used in the restaurant of Casa Decor.
Nancy Robbins Design Studio explains:
Our concept was to mix unfinished or recycled materials with furnishings and finishes that are more refined. Our idea is based on contrast to give value to materials for their aspect rather than their cost.Clever, we say, and not an easy thing to achieve. It is nice to see how waste products can be upcycled into something of a much higher value, especially because the market hasn't many low-cost, sustainable interior design options to offer yet. Luckily creativity and a low budget can bring out the best in designers.