Many times restaurants present a culinary-type journey. Though there are times when the actual design is just as enticing, such as in El Marcao restaurant in Pamplona, Spain. Created by Vaillo + Irigaray Estudio, this two-level modern restaurant design embodies an intoxicating vibe–and a most unusual lighting concept.
From the street view, a pink-and-white logo sign designates the restaurant rather discreetly. Upon stepping inside, guests reach the first floor where there is an actual market. Taking a turn and descending the stairs into the basement level, is where the minimalistic wonder takes place.
Encompassing over 10,000 square feet, natural concrete, wood and stone are swathed in a palette of grey, natural and incandescent green. The arrival into a windowless space is provoking, as one could forget there is no natural light filtering in. The spectacular infusion of luminousity comes from the elongated glazed wall filled with hundreds of neatly-arranged green glass bottles. Addictive modern design!
So fascinating are the hulking pieces of exposed foundation encased in glass, as if on exhibit. Particle board walls cast with undulating designs and plush velvet wall curtains balance the raw edge. Ceilings set in a dimensional series of thin, laser cut wood panels are hypnotic, if not plain gorgeous.
Butcher-block topped dining tables are sprawled across the smooth concrete floors and flanked by leather and chrome seating. Lighting consists of moveable wires with spotlight “cans.” A platform dining zone features the same furnishings, yet features an oversize black-shaded pendant. In a private dining area, rows of recessed industrial metal lamps with exposed bulbs create a linear effect within the space.
The ultra-sleek bar glows with neon green, while a private lounge features futuristic modular seating of the same hip hue. Cylindrical pedants are elegant, interacting between the chic seating and the illuminating wall of bottles. Bathrooms follow the space-age feel, with rounded corners of mirrors and gleaming stainless steel.
With modern restaurant design enveloped in a minimalist approach, El Mercao wows with its naturally exquisite materials and entrancing mood lighting.