TRIBUTE | TANDOOR RESTAURANT

The VXLAB team is mad about design, sure. But we have other passions and Indian food is, of course, one of them. That's why we fell instantly in love with the Tandoor restaurant in Barcelona. Their approach to the Indian culture and aesthetic has nothing to do with the usual misconception of colourful, golden, horror vacui decorations. They say that the interior design is inspired in the restaurant menu, which is described as "local Indian food", because it is inspired in India but set in Barcelona, always offering fresh seasonal ingredients of the region.

This project arose because Ivan Surinder, the young mentor of Albert Adrià, and his mother Poonam Chitra wanted to remodel the family restaurant. Tandoor restaurant was opened in 1996 by Surinder’s father, Oberoi Surinder. The proposed changes included completely updating the premises to reflect the traditional Indian establishment’s originality and modernity.

The esthetic was based on a folk-style India, the India of the people. The bars recall street food carts, the walls are worn, stamped sheet metal is used as partitions, while woodwork is finished with textured tin coatings and splashes of color come in the form of electrical cables and bright wall coverings.

Images from Tandoor

TRIBUTE | GENTLE MONSTER 30th QUANTUM PROJECT

At VXLAB we love to see brands, stores and artists collaborating together. The last project that caught our eye is the 30th Quantum Project by South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster. Together with the re-opening of the new Hongdae Flagship store, the brand has created an installation under the theme "Move out".  

The floating house is repeatedly separated and attached back together. And the kinetic shoes moves as if they are setting off to somewhere unknown. As for the rest of the store, the 2nd floor "Garden Room" is a space filled with plants, which leads up to the 3rd floor the "Moving Memories" where furniture and all sorts of objects holds the trace of time. Inside a place where the stories of the remaining and leaving collides, visitors experience the fantasy of becoming a traveler and a wanderer.

The Quantum Project presents a new evolution of commercial space by creating fast space that is redesigned every 25 days through collaborations with an extensive range of artists and brands.

Images from Gentle Monster.

MILAN'16 PICKS | TIME IS TIME by CITIZEN

On our last day in Milan we managed to squeeze some time to visit an exceptional installation by Citizen, in which they presented their most iconic timepieces of the past 50 years. After their previous outstanding exhibition in 2014 "Light is Time", we knew the rushed visit would be worthy. 

On Citizen's second participation in Milan Design Week, the company paired again with Tsuyoshi Tane from DGT. To pursue the fundamental theme of “time” through “watches,” Mr. Tane challenged one more time the concept of “time” as “space.”

Time contains many individual moments, including one we call “Now.” It has never been possible to make time stand still. Though people and physical objects grow old and eras fade away, time is always new. It always keeps moving. Keeps changing. It comes, and it goes. This ever changing flow of individual moments is what we know as “TIME.”
The "time is TIME" installation is a deep exploration of time where visitors can experience “now” and the “future.”

Photograps from Andrea Astesiano for Domus.

MILAN'16 | PANASONIC'S KUNAN

Technology and art truly meet sometimes, and it was proved in this year's installation by Panasonic for Milan Design Week. The electronics brand produced an installation designed with the theme "KŪKAN" The Invention of Space.  

The installation featured one hundred forty 55-inch screens arranged into 7 pillars that showcased Japan's unique view of the world and the beauty of its nature.

The 7 towering pillars formed a spatial installation where images met sound to create a one-of-a-kind experience only realizable in this unique space. These pillars took on a completely different expression depending on the angle from which they were viewed and brought to life an unknown, unexplored environment.

MILAN'16 PICKS | HAY EXHIBITION

The VXLAB team payed Milan a visit during the most celebrated week of the year: Milan Design Week. For six days the city was busted with showrooms and exceptional exhibitions spaces from designers from all over the world. Some spaces really made an impression on us, and that is the case of HAY's exhibition space in La Pelota.

The Danish brand hosted an exhibition that consisted in independent rooms divided in different levels. In them they featured their entire collection, including new products from Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Stefan Diez, Scholten & Baijings, Doshi Levien, Iskos-Berlin and Shane Schneck. 

As a key feature of the installation, an edited selection of products were sold in the HAY Mini Market; an on-site shop that allowed visitors to purchase HAY accessories and textiles as well as a curated selection of finds from around the world.

Images via Dezeen.

TRIBUTE | NIKE STUDIO. A FUTURISTIC TRAINING CENTRE

Coinciding with the 2015 World  Athletic Championships in Beijing, the sports brand Nike presented a new project in the capital of China, in which thousands of people will live a unique training experience. A new study of high performance with advanced technology and innovative design, all with the brand style.

The space, with 1.200 square meters, offers visitors and athletes a unique place based on infinity and transparency. Lighting, contrasts in the spaces, interactive installations, showcases illuminated with LED, two futuristic training spaces or products display areas are some of the elements which complete de design.

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There are also quotes and sport legends pictures to provide additional motivation, as well as latest products of Nike or resting places. All that is required to carry out a high quality training.

Workout areas, with sliding mirror  doors, are almost entirely black, creating a contrast against rest installations and exhibition products.

Nike shows its products like in an art gallery. These are presented in white rooms, illuminated by LEDs and carefully arranged almost floating. Thus, the sense of transparency and lightness is created in the atmmosphere.

TRIBUTE | WHEN STREET ART JOINS GASTRONOMY

Bibo is a restaurant with lots of art inside of it. It is located on the Hollywood road in Hong Kong and it combines street art, Art Decó, architecture, design and French gastronomy creating a unique space in the world.

The space recreates a Parisian hall of the 30s, in a building transformed into an abandoned train station. Luxurious marble floors and an elegant lighting connect traditional French cooking with contemporary urban art. Thus, closeness between luxury and underground life is created.

The restaurant is decorated from floor to ceiling, with works from well-known street artists such as Banksy, JR, Damien Hirst, Daniel Arsham or Invasor.

In addition, several furniture pieces, old train tickets and schedules and a huge unevenly stacked marble bar by hand, complete the design.

The structure’s fittings include brass pipes that are reminiscent of subway ventilation systems, while complex light fixtures appear as train signal lights.  

Bibo invites its clients to experience urban art, interacting with the designers, because while the first taste their fine cuisine dishes, different artists are shut away in those walls for express their ideas.

A restaurant always tries to create an experience to its clients. Bibo also tries to do it in a creative and different way. For that reason, it uses the architecture to transport diners to a unique place and make them live an experience for all their senses. 


TRIBUTE | ‘DISFRUTAR’, A MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT.

A new restaurant in Barcelona. This time, the chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas bet on 'Disfrutar’, a place for having fun, with innovative dishes and in a modern, informal and fun environment.

"In Barcelona, everything is bonded to the Mediterranean”. Under this idea, the interior design finds its identity in the ceramics of different formats as the key element of decoration and the leitmotiv between different spaces impregnated of Mediterranean essence and contemporary cooking. It appears sometimes on the wall and others on the lattices built to separate spaces. Glazed tiles and mosaic floors with white and blue tones, which remind us the Mediterranean sky and sea, can also be found.

Ceramics accompanies us along the tour. But in each space it is transformed into a new material that helps to provide every zone with singularity.

The restaurant is organized in three spaces. The first one works as a waiting area and it has a bar for twelve diners and six tables. This zone looks for more urban references, such as the Ninot market metallic structures and colorful ceramics.

In the kitchen, located in the middle of the local, we find the ceramics in its raw form, bricks in its original red color.

Crossing the kitchen, we get to the main dining room that transfers us to a more natural environment. White colors predominate over the walls, ceilings and floors, transporting us to a Mediterranean village.

TRIBUTE | A new culinary experience.

Fine dining meets rock and roll. Under this motto, the designer Piet Boon, with the help of the chefs Sergio Herman and Nick Bril, has created a new concept of restaurant transforming the chapel of a former military hospital in Antwerp, (Belgium) in the restaurant The Jane, a gastronomic destination that combines elite kitchen and rock aesthetics.

The designers decided to preserve the structure and most of the original materials and elements of the church, such as the floor mosaics and the vaulted ceiling. Thus, the modernity merges perfectly with the classicism of the place. 

In addition, the passion for working with pure and rich materials which the designer and the two chefs shared, is expressed in the inside of the building, as they used materials like stone, leather and oak wood.

The place. The Jane consists of a dining room that takes up the main room of the church and a bar called The Upper Room, located upstairs.

The kitchen is placed where the original altar used to be. It looks like a showcase as it is totally glazed, so that customers can see what the awared cooking team is creating for them. 

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The PSLAB studio was in charge of designing the enormous chandelier that hangs from the restaurant ceiling. With more than 150 bulbs, 800 kilos and a surface of 9 by 12 meters, it is a huge contribution to the intimate and divine atmosphere of the chapel and the grandeur of the space.

The stained glass windows of the chapel have also been modernised. Images of Jesus on the cross alternate with ice creams, sunflowers, skulls, croissants, penguins, gas masks or birthday cakes.

We are not very fond of the church, but this new concept convinced us!

TRIBUTE | CIRKELBROEN: THE NEW BRIDGE IN COPENHAGUE

Copenhague continues with his project to improve the infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. This time, with the Cirkelbroen bridge`s inauguration, designed by the artist Olafur Eliasson and donated to the Danish city by the foundation Nordea with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyle in Denmark.

Eliasson said he was inspired by his childhood in Iceland, where his father was a sailor. "While I was working on the bridge, I recalled the fishing boats I saw as a child in Iceland. In the harbour, the boats were often moored right next to each other, and it sometimes seemed that you could even cross the harbour just by walking from boat to boat".

Cirkelbroen is a testimony to that history.

The bridge has been built with five circular platforms in zigzag, each one with a mast to remember the memory of a sailboat. With 40 meters long, it crosses the Christianshavn`s canal and joins the cycling network that connects to the harbour.

A connection between new spaces that invite people to walk, ride a bike or running. A meeting point close to the sea to rest, think about and admire the city`s landcape.