From a "pintxos" to the Txalupa Gastroleku Restaurant
"A Bar, a Club and a suggestive red staircase… colour helps us differentiate them while connecting with the neighbourhood's maritime essence."
The project, curated by EL EQUIPO CREATIVO, a studio based in Barcelona and specialized in the interior design of gastronomic, commercial, brand and hospitality spaces, began with a pintxos (small tapas) bar in the old part of San Sebastian (Spain), which had to be transformed entirely due to a change of ownership, without losing part of the essence of these traditional places, with their long bars full of exposed tapas and their lively and casual atmosphere.
Txalupa Gastroleku Restaurant is located on Fermín Calbetón Street, a classic street of pintxos in San Sebastian. This street literally 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 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 helped giving some privacy and personality to the tables. At the same time, they provide contrast to the depth of the turquoise background thanks 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.
Photography: Adrià Goula