A first-floor location that must operate continuously from breakfast to late night drinks, including meeting rooms and event space for the hotel. Blue Sky Hospitality Ltd.’s design had to facilitate all these requirements while also respecting the heritage of the building and its historical parameters. Conceived like a sprawling apartment with a multitude of complementary spaces linked together by an overarching design narrative: the central patio is an imaginary Spanish courtyard bordered by dining studios on one side and the kitchen/bar/dining area on the other. The studios are conceived like virtual walks in the park: the 3D carpet evokes the breeze on the sandy soil of the Sierra outside Madrid, while the ceilings are covered with acoustic pads of greenery amongst which wander a multitude of espadrilles soles (a local craft).
On the other side of the patio starts the restaurant with its charcoal show kitchen (clad in textured black surfaces) and the ice “crudo bar” open pantry (clad in silver, glass and white marble) giving the venue name “Hielo y Carbon” (Ice + Charcoal), which also evokes the houndstooth Madrilene textile (known there as pied de poule/pata de gallo). The restaurant uses a rich but restrained palette of charcoal, ice and red accents anchored by the central “gintoneria”, a dramatic gin bar playing with sparkles and shadows, shimmering in shades of silver, reflecting into the mirrored ceilings with the buzz and lights of the Gran Via.
The dual aspects of the entire floor: a serene, botanical, organic area with its central patio, green plants and escapist meeting rooms combined with the high energy, high fashion, high contrast dining areas anchored by the black kitchen, ice pantry and silver bar punctuated by vivid red accents. The essence of Madrid but unlike anywhere else. The entire floor has been conceived as a sprawling apartment, akin to an open art gallery composed of 21 tableaux (view points). The scheme is neutral enough to allow people and food to become part of the show, while the Design has a multitude of detail, textures and reflections that allows endless exploration and individual perspectives for each visit.
Looking up from the street, the light and airy interiors look like they belong to this classic Madrid building…and yet once stepping inside visitors are intrigued by the mélange of familiar and authentic Madrilene (locally named as castizo) and unexpected compositions of materials, rather cosmopolitan in spirit (mestizo in Spanish). This juxtaposition recalls the work of several local artists from the cubist Juan Gris in 1910 to the surrealist cinema of 1970’s Movida era. A lot of intricate tiling and joinery was required to combine seamlessly dozens of glass, wood, metal and ceramic materials.