Text description provided by the architects. Renowned Spanish chef Ricard Camarena teams up with Francesc Rifé Studio for the fifth time to design a new modern restaurant: Habitual. Designed using unique concepts, contemporary features, and striking characteristics throughout.
Using the concept of “local field”, a precise choice of elements including a single material, poplar wood, and the most significant shape in gastronomy, the circle, has been used and implemented throughout the restaurant to create a warm space and to avoid excess. The circular holes in the wall create a unique atmosphere and are reminiscent of a plate, a glass, or a cup of coffee; they are the guidelines to the project.
The name Habitual ties in with the values of the slogan: “Comfort food”, and has been chosen to reflect the identity of the restaurant: the luxury of the space, the warmness, and the cosy integration of the features for a clean and seamless restaurant space. Habitual has been designed to stand out as a place of comfort and warmth. To create this, poplar wood has been used throughout, easing the issue of noise, whilst at the same time presenting an interior layout that is a continuity of the elements and exudes personality throughout.
All of this has been inspired by the signature symbols of the kitchen that Ricard works, and has been used and created as 3D ceramic elements. These range from: artichokes, carrots, fish and meat.
The circular holes, from a technical point of view, contribute as conductors of sound, merging and creating a unique ambiance for those inside. As an extension of the idea of the circle, the name Habitual has been printed on ceramic plates, while lighting has been integrated into the holes in the ceiling. Finally, the holes range in different sizes from small to large, while it is also possible to store caps of wine bottles in the larger holes that make up a drawn fish figure.
Creating a sense of curiosity, the holes inside the restaurant allow restaurant guests to peer outside, and for outside passers by to catch a glimpse of the intimate setting inside without the need for traditional windows. This unique feature is used in the seating of the guests too, with guests seating at a metre height.
Paying homage to the past, the red tubular pipes of the roof and the original structure have remained uncovered and intact. The only change here are small holes for the lighting, with the rest of the lighting placed in suspended incandescent lamps, creating a romantic homely setting for restaurant guests, and an intimate lighting inside.
The side of the facade hides two annexes: one of them for cooking classes and the other one used as a warehouse. Both areas have front access with pivoting doors, and are accessed via glass doors.
The restaurant is located inside a shopping centre and has an area of 300 square metres, with enough space to accommodate up to 120 guests at any one time.