The 'Cantina' in Santiago is the most beautiful restaurant in the world

The Spanish office Nomada comes away with the title at the recent RABDA awards

by Malcolm Clark
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The restaurant “A Cantina” in Santiago de Compostela, in Spain designed by the young architectural office ESTUDIO NÓMADA, has been awarded the prize for the best restaurant in the world at the Restaurant & bar design award this year.

The project is located in two rooms inside the complex of the “Cidade da Cultura de Galicia”, used for the restaurant and for the museum shop. The two areas are connected through two “cavities” that make it possible for the different activities to be performed with the necessary independence.

The designers use the Galician traditions, reinterpreting them through a modern filter. By abstracting one of the ideas behind the hospitality of this region, the tables are arranged in a parallel way elongated under schematic trees evoking popular festivities sheltered from the shadow.

A long bar goes through the wall and joins the café with the museum shop. The strong colours and shapes that recall Galician popular art reign on this element. As support to the restaurant area, a round and plump body hides the kitchen space.

In continuity with the layers that characterize a city of ancient and complex culture like Santiago, Nómada's work is made up of different elements and furniture, which seem to not feel the need to find a rule to their diversity. Is this a new idea of the classic?

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    A Cantina 95

    A Cantina

    Santiago de Compostela / Spain / 2010