Hermanos Torres Cuisine is a project born from the desire to generate a new experience in relation to the world of cooking and catering. A new space that allows us to live a new culinary experience. Continent and content come together for a unique experience.
From the beginning, Sergio and Javier Torres defined in a few words what they were looking for: "more than a restaurant with a kitchen, we would like to create a kitchen with a restaurant". With this clear and ambitious premise and with the acquisition of an old industrial building of almost 800 m2, which had to be completely renovated, the project began.
At the spatial level, the project was born, therefore, with the desire to erase or dilute some dividing lines between the different spaces that make up a traditional restaurant.
Gradually, over time, the kitchen space has acquired a certain prominence in some of the latest avant-garde restaurants. Initially, windows that showed the interior of the kitchen through a glass were opened. On other occasions the kitchen was opened by placing it at the back of the restaurant, behind a bar, and even in some cases, as in the case of the Dos Cielos Restaurant (former restaurant of the Torres brothers), the restaurant through the kitchen. Exclusive tables have also been included in some restaurants so that a few people can eat in the same kitchen.
However, this time, an even more radical leap is made, placing the kitchen not only as the central element of the intervention, but also as an enveloping element. The restaurant is the kitchen.
By placing the kitchen at the epicentre of the restaurant, the old concept of the café-theater resurfaces, places where the diner enjoys a show while having dinner. But here the show will consist of the same preparation of the dishes to be tasted. In addition, thanks to the fact that he has chosen an industrial building as a large container, the experience of living a "performance" yourself is emphasised. It feels like being on a big ship, being on a TV set or in a modern theatre.
It was therefore a matter of configuring and exalting these properties of the original space in such a way that a further step could be taken in the experience of haute cuisine. The diner participates and empathises with the Chef, while it is a direct witness to the creative act that is taking place. And not only is it a witness, but it also ends up becoming the protagonist of the experience when the dish arrives at the table. Having diluted the lines that physically separate the space, the two chefs, Sergio and Javier, along with second chefs, chefs, waiters and assistant cooks, move the space naturally and without barriers between stoves and tables. A space of no more than two meters, free of any physical or visual obstacles. This is what the brothers were looking for, to be able to establish a direct relationship with their customers.
At the same time, the spectator, diner and protagonist (depending on each moment) not only has a central stage that are of the "three pianos" (place where the last steps of each dish are elaborated and culminated), but also it is surrounded by kitchens and spaces related to the experience you are living. In three of the faces that surround the central space is the wine cellar, the pastry shop and the 3 cooking kitchens (Meats, Fish and Fruits-vegetables), plus you can also see the space of research and development behind a glass, in which the brothers carry out their experiments and tests to achieve new creations.
Work has been done to make the kitchens work like clockwork, and to be as well-equipped as possible, always giving priority to functional aspects so as not to diminish their proper functioning. Therefore, there is a subsequent circulation, which manages to communicate all the spaces: preparation and production kitchens and their respective cameras as well as the spaces for staff, dining room, locker rooms, training room, etc. So, despite the novelty of the distribution, the space has been organised in a consistent and effective way.
Another example would be to respect the classic concept of atrium represented in the Bar area. That is, when we enter and access the large industrial building, we have a first filter space that allows us to save the surprise, and then discover the large space of the main dining room. So, next to the cloakroom, the Bar becomes an entrance hall.
Returning to the concept of foyer in a concert hall: before the show, the bartender, a prestigious mixologist, will prepare a cocktail, a first aperitif, which introduces us to the atmosphere of the industrial unit, the perfect opening act before the experience that awaits us on the other side of the cellar.
Once the organisation of the space has been defined, an element of great importance ensures that the culinary experience takes place with the dose of comfort and convenience it deserves. To try to soften the undeniable fact that we will be eating in an industrial unit, a series of materials are introduced that soften and even produce a kind of ambiguity between being initially in a cold space of large proportions versus a pleasant space, warm and welcoming. Tables with tablecloths, upholstered chairs and even the presence of a rug will soften and provide comfort, as well as help control the acoustics of the room.
However, we have tried to make the decorative interventions as minimal as possible. Fleeing the recent trend and the increasingly popular fashion of refilling and filling spaces with objects, textiles and formal abundance that gives place to a baroque minimalism or new kitsch that can only confuse the customer and not leave clear what is authentic and what is a "lie" (fake).
This is exactly the opposite. To erase the unnecessary, not to confuse and not allow it to dominate the superfluous, but the truly important.
The floor, thanks to the collaboration of the Roca company, is ceramic. As it should be, this has always been the traditional cuisine of a lifetime, just like the one where the brothers cooked as children with their grandmother Catalina. This is a special format piece designed specifically for the Restaurant. A continuous floor, therefore using the same material for all areas, the main ones and the ones for the staff. It was essential to understand the unitary nature of the intervention.
We decided that the bathrooms would be the exception to the rule: Iroko wood is introduced in the bathrooms, which gives them great comfort. An atmosphere contrary to that of the central space is sought, more typical of a ship's cabin than of a large industrial building.
The protagonists will always be the diner, the cook and the dishes. Regarding the rest, the less you notice and see, the better, and having the minimum concessions. To do this, we have a single large decorative element: a large black and gold curtain that occupies an entire side wall and is backlit, magically playing with light. Light, as an indispensable ingredient in architecture, will be what we will talk about below.
In this obsession with eliminating the superfluous and the unnecessary, the presence of the color black in practically all the restaurant appears strongly. Black emerges as a counterpoint to the white of the dishes, tablecloths and chefs' uniforms, which acquire their prominence thanks to wrapping them all with an indefinite matte black space. The colour black also allows us to do the same with light as with the decoration. Thanks to him we will be able to illuminate what interests us. The rest will be lost in the vastness of the industrial unit. Just like in a theatre or a concert hall where what lights up is the stage, the actors or the musicians.
From here, a magical game begins thanks to the presence of glass that produces reflections, the darkness of the room and the presence of some mysterious hanging lights, giving rise to what the brothers have ended up defining as the ship of your dreams.
The cellar is used to create a subtle light box, although not too bright (for obvious reasons of wine treatment). The glass box of the cellar is dressed in virgin vine. This warm light box with a golden effect helps to create a cozy atmosphere in both the bar and the main room.
For the lighting of the room, we worked with the designer Pete Sans in the creation of what we call "clouds", lights that precisely sought to meet several objectives: the light, through the presence of hundreds or thousands of lights evokes a starry space, and thanks to the reflections in the glass of the room or in the skylights, a magical multiplier effect is produced. The lights are strategically placed at a constant height of 2.55 m, which allows you to build an imaginary or virtual roof, in which everything above (the ship reaches 7.5 m on its ridge) when painted black, it seems to fade or disappear. In this way, the ceiling is not clearly visible, only intuited.
At the same time, the lights begin to generate reflections in all the windows of the restaurant and what before could be perceived as a finite space becomes ambiguous and undefined. The immensity of the black and the multiplied lights, the golden curtain with a dark background, the illuminated cellar where the bottles can be seen, the translucent skylights... All this makes the limits of the space confusing, while a dreamlike space is generated.
And we will finish at the beginning: the front door and the façade, which we knew had to become a threshold that separates the space of the imaginary from the urban reality of the Les Corts neighbourhood in Barcelona.
To do this, after much deliberation and thinking about what we should do, we decided to respect the interior shape of the nave, a gabled roof, and therefore rescue the formal archetype of a house. Secondly, the brothers conveyed to us the importance of the 4 seasons of the year, working with seasonal produce. That’s why we decided that the best way to represent this idea would be through nature. Specifically, around a forest and how the seasons transform it.
Carlos had been following the works of the painter and muralist Regina Saura for years, and in some of her recent exhibitions she had focused on the representation of trees and forests. So we asked her to participate in the project and execute a work of art on the façade around the idea of a forest. We believe that Regina Saura's façade manages to convey the message of seasonality from the different shades of leaves (winter, summer, autumn and spring colours), and at the same time it allows the contrast with the reality of the urban context. We can understand the act of entering the Hermanos Torres Kitchen in two ways, crossing a forest in the city or accessing their new home in the forest. In any case, the façade is a threshold, a place where the outer space, the street, is abandoned, and which, once transferred, allows us to live almost imaginary experiences. All this thanks to the organisation of the space, the use of materials and the play of light. But above all, the interior space becomes a dream when you taste the latest creations by Sergio and Javier Torres.