Impar Restaurant

Barcelona / Spain / 2017

29
29 Love 2,460 Visits Published

"I have designed this place as if it was a new version of the traditional bistro, shaking off the primitive perception we have of the Mediterranean Sea".


JAIME BERIESTAIN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THE NEW OUTLET SPACES THAT FORM PART OF THE HOTEL SOFÍA (CLUB, COCKTAIL BAR, RESTAURANT, SKY BAR, BAR AND CAFÉ).


For Beriestain, it was vital that all these areas could be enjoyed by everyone, hotel guests and Barcelona locals alike.


IMPAR - A Mediterranean bistro-market.
“MY CHIEF CONCERN HAS BEEN FOR THE PUBLIC TO PERCEIVE OF THE RESTAURANT AS A MEETING PLACE AND A FOCAL POINT FOR SOCIAL LIFE IN BARCELONA”, notes Jaime Beriestain.


Impar features an entrance independent to that of the hotel As is the case with the rest of the hotel, the space is open to the city and has been designed as a place that is approachable and welcoming to the general public In addition to its street entrance, you can also access Impar from the hotel’s lobby via a transparent “wine wall” especially designed for the restaurant, with all the complexities that this entails.


“I HAVE REFRESHED THE TRADITIONAL CANONS OF PARISIAN BISTROS, ALTERING PROPORTIONS AND COLOURS, TO ACHIEVE A TIMELESS, VERY WARM AMBIENCE”.


To cover Impar’s vast floor area, the owners had the initial idea of placing various eating stations or points throughout the space. Based on this idea, Jaime Beriestain has created three ambiences, each with its own distinct identity, in the more than 670 square-metre site.


“THE MAIN CHALLENGE IN DESIGNING THIS SPACE HAS BEEN TO ENSURE THAT EACH OF THE THREE AMBIENCES HAS ITS OWN SPIRIT, AND TO CONNECT THEM IN A HARMONIOUS, ORDERLY AND COHERENT WAY”.


To do this, a number of decorative beams were designed with aged mirrors in shades of gold. Their reflections endow the space with a perspective that helps to subtly unify the different spaces.
The reception area’s wall is made up of a large screen that serves as an introduction to the restaurant’s creative concept: the primitive perception we have of the Mediterranean Sea.


This inspiration can be seen in a number of its themes:
- The presence of the sea, thanks to the use of tailor-made tiling featuring an abstract design in shades of blue. This idea is amplified by the use of hammered glass, which imitates the sensation of the movement of the waves.
- The presence of stone in its rawest form, as can be seen in the bar top of the open cooking bar with its rough edging, or in the oblique Chinese flamed basalt panels.
- The reference to the sun, with the use of brass and of different aged mirrors in shades of gold.


The tailor-made screens (which are 17 metres long and 2 high) means that the space can be remodelled and modified throughout the day as required, helping to shape the atmosphere at any given time: giving a it more lively touch at lunchtime or providing the option of more privacy for dinner. One side of each panel is made of aged rustic tiling, whilst the other is painted with a smoked patina that provides an interplay of transparencies, thanks to the use of acrylics and metallic pigments.

The continuous terrazzo flooring provides a unifying factor for the space, giving it scale, dynamism, freshness and refinement, with its brass edging.


“DESIGNING THE FLOOR HAS BEEN A REAL TECHNICAL CHALLENGE!”, exclaims Jaime Beriestain.


The great technical complexity was due to a number of reasons: the use of Fume and Pijama Ecuador marbles in large size made their placement extremely tricky. What’s more, the floor was designed on-site, making its levelling all the more complicated. In sum, the polishing of the huge flagstones with their brass edging represented an enormous technical undertaking, but it has given a unique result that is truly worthy of admiration.


Here, once again, Beriestain has fully exploited the presence of natural light, a common denominator in all his creations. Impar’s large windows, untypical of Barcelona, give the restaurant a cosmopolitan feel characteristic of the world’s great cities, such as New York and London. The large openings are leveraged to provide access to a terrace that was especially designed for Impar by Ana Esteve, a professional landscape architect. Ana and Jaime met on a number of occasions to precisely define the atmosphere they sought to create in this specific place. The result is an extension of the concept used indoors, with furniture exclusively designed by Jaime Beriestain Studio.
Each station has a different concept and, in addition to their aesthetics, account had to be take of the technical limitations of the hotel setting: for example, with the refrigerated display and tray units of the Raw station.


 

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    "I have designed this place as if it was a new version of the traditional bistro, shaking off the primitive perception we have of the Mediterranean Sea". JAIME BERIESTAIN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THE NEW OUTLET SPACES THAT FORM PART OF THE HOTEL SOFÍA (CLUB, COCKTAIL BAR, RESTAURANT, SKY BAR, BAR AND CAFÉ). For Beriestain, it was vital that all these areas could be enjoyed by everyone, hotel guests and Barcelona locals alike. IMPAR - A Mediterranean bistro-market.“MY...

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