Located in an old Majorcan bakery of the 19th century, the design of the new restaurant is a homage to its past and the art of weaving baskets of the island.
Designed by El Equipo Creativo
Photographed by Art Sanchez
The clients, the second generation of a family of hoteliers from Majorca, approach EL EQUIPO CREATIVO, with the idea of renovating their well-known restaurant located in the Historic Center of Palma, Forn de Sant Joan Restaurant.
Since the beginning, what most caught the designers’ attention was the historical and cultural value of the space. The restaurant is indeed a former bakery, “Forn” in Catalan that still preserves the terracotta structure of its old oven.
The aim was to create a cosy atmosphere that could embody the tradition of Majorcan Island, the values of the restaurant such as homemade uisine, the attention to details and natural products.
One of the traditional elements of the old bakeries was the “breadbasket”. In this context, the art of wicker and handmade basketry, typical craft common to all Mediterranean villages, became one of the main elements of the design.
The designers also wanted to feature the idea of the “oven” and of “fire”, through the use of different ceramic tiles, such as the use of original terracotta roof tiles to form the bars or copper metal for the shelves.
The main dining room of the restaurant is in a lower mezzanine. In this area, we wanted to highlight, in a special way, the craftsmanship of the basketry.
Therefore, EL EQUIPO CREATIVO generated a new “woven” skin, as a reference to old wicker baskets, which became the undisputed protagonist of the project.
This new skin wraps guests in a metaphorical breadbasket, creating a cosy envelope and adding vitality and personality to this space. This fabric gradually fades at its ends, as a metaphor for a basket still in the process of being developed.
On a technical level, the skin consists of overlapped wooden strips which create a lattice. This three-dimensional element allowed the designers to adapt to the irregular shape of the space, as well as hide the facilities.
The rest of the walls are painted with a reddish hue that recalls the terracotta oven in the bakery. The contrast is given by employing chairs, some in wicker,and others in an intense turquoise tone, such as the Mediterranean Sea.
In the entrance area, it is located the former terracotta oven. In this double-height space, the design references other characteristic elements of the old bakeries, such as their infinite shelves full of products and curious objects. With this concept in mind, the large shelves full of ingredients,ceramic jugs, small objects and craft tools recalls the pantry of a bakery where something is always happening. They also provide a sense of closeness, love for quality and detail,stressing the philosophy of the restaurant.
The copper shelves work as a metaphor for fire and also reminds of the traditional pots of the old kitchens. The bar built with original terracotta roof tiles and the large basketry lamps complete the design of this more informal area that serves as a filter to the main dining room.