The starting point was a restaurant inside a Health Club that has become obsolete and lost its charisma during the years. We were asked to design a new concept for this space, in terms of interior design but also its branding. However, we should maintain as possible the existing structures, having always in mind a reduced but sufficient budget.
Strategically we decided to create new elements within the restaurant area, with unique features that allows the creation of a new charisma and identity, but also relate them with the preservation of the existing elements. The balance between the existing and the new was essential, so in the end everything could be read with unicity.
The existing layout for the tables arrangement wasn´t satisfactory, so we tried to create different areas with different approaches to the eating experience, some more directed for groups while others more focused on couples and individuals. This ended up in the design of a new space hierarchy, through the manipulation of the ceiling heights, the use of specific colors, and the creation of permeable surfaces with motives that are replicated, allowing the possibility of having unique interior environments according with the time of the day and the purpose of the meal. The lighting plays an important role in the space experience, so was rethought and adjusted taking advantage of the new created elements.
For the restaurant decoration new principles where taken in order to create a brand new identity, more up-to-date but also that could reflect the culture and the traditions, since it is a Portuguese Cuisine Restaurant!
The space was punctuated with several objects that are related with the above intention. It was design a specific area for handcrafted clay and cork lamps from TASA, an Algarve regional Craftsman Association. The popular Clay Swallows, a Portuguese Crafts symbol spread by the artist Bordalo Pinheiro, flew around the white walls reminding old country side memories. Also it was designed a re-interpretation of Portuguese food related sayings combining with plate’s shapes and “hanged” in the walls, reminding the old plates in the traditional kitchen houses.
To those who will enter into this restaurant we aspire that a new and contemporary reinterpretation of what means to be in a Portuguese Restaurant might be felt.