Restaurant: La más Rica de Chamberí | ARQUID Architecture

ARQUID architects have been in charge of the remodeling of an old bazaar, located in Madrid, now converted into a high design bar- restaurant. Madrid / Spain

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From a small and old bazaar, to a new bar-restaurant located in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in the center of Madrid. La Más Rica was born from the desire of a family of Galicians - residents of the Chamberí neighborhood - to bring the best of their land to the center of Madrid. A fusion between Galicia and Madrid that is reflected gastronomically in the restaurant's menu, and architecturally through a careful nautical and industrial aesthetic, evoking the most representative culture of the Galician coast and Chamberí's industrial past. The architectural commission was assumed by the ARQUID architecture studio, who have transformed what seemed like a small, dark shop into a beacon of light that brings together the residents of the area.


Originally, the space already had approximately 140 m2, but it concealed a double height behind a false ceiling that went completely unnoticed in the old premises. A large research exercise allowed the architects to find out the evolution of the premises and its history: from a dry cleaning dry cleaner, through a Chinese restaurant, a grocery store and a bazaar, to become the restaurant it is today. During the creation process of La Más Rica, the main challenge and objective was to make the most of the height, a key element to ensure that the space, which was initially small, dark and limited, would become a spacious and bright place.


By eliminating the false ceiling of the old business, the possibility of creating a design that incorporated a mezzanine was opened up and that was emphasized along with some large windows on the façade, which allow us to contemplate the entire interior, while offering diners a sensation of light and integration with the outer space.


In fact, the interior-exterior relationship is one of the most characteristic elements of this project. All kinds of gestures have been taken into account in order to connect both spaces; from the metal entrance doors, which open completely to unite the covered terrace with the public space, to details such as the similarity between the aesthetics of the restaurant floor and the exterior paving, which turns the street into an extension of the bar, and vice versa.


With the aim of transmitting this concept of unification between the interior and the exterior, ARQUID proposed some semicircular steel openings that protrude from the characteristic large windows, transforming them into tables that would face the exterior. This proposal was intended to emphasize the relationship of the bar and its customers with the neighborhood, encouraging the public space to become part of the restaurant.


As a starting point, inside the restaurant there is a large open bar made of granite, a representative material widely used in Galician architecture. The cold dishes on the menu are prepared in this kitchen in full view of the customer, thus strengthening the relationship between the guts of the restaurant and its diners.


From the bar area to the outside, once again, the concept of "terrace" extends, as there is a porch that adapts to the different seasons of the year: remaining open in summer and closing in winter to shelter from the cold of the capital. The interior and exterior limits of the restaurant are diluted so that the space is perceived as an interconnected place to one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Madrid.


La Más Rica is a study of lights, materials and spaces. The methodical and detailed design of each element, created in collaboration with the designer and interior designer Olga Quintana, allows each of the spaces to be different, creating unique areas with separate environments while connected by the same maritime and industrial identity characteristic of the restaurant.


Elements such as the lights and the cladding of ropes that hang from the double-height space along the ceiling stand out; or the walls that combine to create rhythms of light and shadow, as well as chiaroscuro that is gently projected throughout the space and that allows for a warm and welcoming atmosphere inside.


The project also stands out for its commitment to the transparency of space and respect for the original structure. During the creation process, it was decided to keep the pillars and slabs visible, using simple materials such as concrete for the finishes, leaving the bowels of the space visible. It was decided to combine this with refined industrial details that can be seen both in the metal profiles of the windows and in the beer kegs, the latter also visible to the customer.


On the mezzanine, curved geometric stairs covered with maritime touches lead to the reserved area, where more intimate events or meetings can be held. On one side we find the kitchen, visible through a translucent glass that shows all the ins and outs of the place; the place where everything takes shape. The main objective of this project was to create an open space and a "mutant" place that evolves and adapts to different situations. For this, lighting - both natural and artificial - plays a fundamental role, marking the tempo of the restaurant from sunrise to sunset. Crossroads of visuals from top to bottom (and vice versa), visible from the outside through the large windows, is in the center with a large circular lamp that illuminates the entire space and blends perfectly with the curved lines of the restaurant.


This lamp, designed to measure between the Arquid architecture studio and Olga Quintana, inspired and was the common thread of other outstanding elements of the project.


During the day, the restaurant absorbs the natural light that enters through the large windows and reaches the interior tables and the bar counter. Putting the focus on the timid activity of people who enjoy breakfast and early lunch. But as the day progresses and as soon as the sun goes down, the restaurant becomes a "lighthouse", a place full of life in which the activity and effervescence of the night transform it into a light box, providing an ideal setting for city passers-by.

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    From a small and old bazaar, to a new bar-restaurant located in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in the center of Madrid. La Más Rica was born from the desire of a family of Galicians - residents of the Chamberí neighborhood - to bring the best of their land to the center of Madrid. A fusion between Galicia and Madrid that is reflected gastronomically in the restaurant's menu, and architecturally through a careful nautical and industrial aesthetic, evoking the most representative...

    Project details
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Bars/Cafés / Restaurants
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