El Equipo Creates Urban Retreat for Travelers and Locals in the Kimpton Vividora Barcelona
The Barcelona -based studio, El Equipo Creativo, designed several spaces in the Kimpton Vividora Barcelona hotel, part of the Kimpton hotel group. They sought to create a dialogue between the boutique hotel and the surrounding neighborhood, the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona, with its narrow streets that lead to unexpected plazas and patios. A curated selection of contemporary furniture from local brands and handcrafted ceramics is casual and inviting and injects a local flair into the spaces.
This multi-space project has won several honours, including the Interior Design of the Year Award in the Hotel Design category of the SIT Furniture Design Award, Interior Design Hotel, Boutique category of the LIV Hospitality Design Awards, and Best Hotel Interior Spain of the International Property Awards.
Cafe Got is in the lobby area of a double-height space that connects it to an upper-level reception. Visible from the street, the cafe has a bar and lounge seating areas designed to invite guests and locals to enter and relax. Stone, greenery, natural plants, and glass lamps that simulate water create a lush ambiance. The custom-designed green and white geometric tiles on the walls and ceiling dividers harness Barcelona’s artisan tradition. The bar is a discreet presence in the rear. Vibrant-hued stone block contrasts with pale travertine floors. Terracotta carpets and reddish wooden wall finishes are warm contrasts.
As the studio explains, “We soon understood that the space of the bar–located in the lower level of Hotel Kimpton Vividora, and with a long facade, facing the street– should be part of the neighborhood, acting as a connection between the city and the hotel. Stone, greenery, and water are the essential ingredients of this fresh oasis in the city, and we decided to introduce these same ingredients in the design of the bar.”
Cafe Got was shortlisted in the Hotel category of the 2021 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, the world’s leading independent competition dedicated to excellence in hospitality design.
The rooms feature a chromatic palette in the suites that mirrors the warm, earthy terracotta tones of Barcelona architecture and the blue of the Mediterranean Sea. Locally designed furniture, bespoke bath products, and imaginative flourishes introduce elements of the neighborhood inside. The studio created an abstract art composition by juxtaposing two colour blocks: the warm leather headboard in the sleeping area with the cool blue tones of the handcrafted ceramic dividers in the bathroom area. The bathroom, which is open to the sleeping rea, locates the bathtub next to the balcony so that guests view the Barcelona skyline.
Continuing with the game of contrasts, the warm wooden flooring and surfaces serve as perfect counterpoints to the cool, stone surfaces in the water area, while black orthogonal metal structures frame round mirrors and lamps.
The Fauna Restaurant offers guests a familiar atmosphere through references to textures, galleries, lattices, and other features and elements of traditional Barcelona homes. Characteristic of vernacular interiors are the colorful patterned tiled flooring and the hand-painted blue ceramic tiles in the buffet area at the entrance with their representations of scenes of old Barcelona. The open kitchen in the rear serves as a chromatic counterpoint, with warm wooden tones reminiscent of traditional kitchens.
“All projects have specific challenges. In this hotel, the ground level adjacent to the street was small because the building had other commercial activities. So, the restaurant, open to a local clientele, needed to be located on the second level, a very uncommon situation in Barcelona where upper floors are traditionally used only for private activities. Out of this challenge, we created an opportunity: going to this restaurant should be like going to a friend’s house for dinner. The challenge became the concept for the project. We analyzed different areas and material qualities in typical Barcelona houses and introduced these features into the design.”
The overall effect is a seamless dovetailing of classic features and a modern aesthetic. A restaurant inspired by a traditional Barcelona house and provides guests with an experience that is at once cozy and homey.
Terraza de Vivi
The rooftop terrace of Vividora, Terraza de Vivi, provides guests with a panoramic view of the Gothic Quarter with a chaotic burst of terracotta rooftops and the Mediterranean Sea as a background. The design concept was to create a space with an easy-going vibe, inspired by the Barcelona terraces and outdoor spaces with contrasting surfaces, textures, and colours.
As in the other areas of the hotel, they primed ceramic tiles, this time on the vertical surfaces. Referencing the street art popular in the area, they used tiles to create artsy murals with abstract patterns. Textured pergolas produce natural light and shadow effects on the terrace, generating a relaxed “chiringuito” atmosphere. Patterns in the upholstery bring a Mediterranean touch, with intense terracotta hues as protagonists.
Vertical metal shelves full of ceramic pots and plants help maintain privacy while imbuing the terrace with a fresh oasis-like feeling. They created several sitting areas to allow guests to choose their favourite cozy corner.
Kimpton Hotel &Restaurants is a series of boutique hotels around the world. As there is no uniform brand design, guests have genuine and local experiences.
Founded in 2010 by architects Oliver Franz Schmidt, Natali Canas del Pozo, and Lucas Echeveste Lacy, El Equipo Creativo is a Barcelona-based interior architecture studio, that specializes in the design of hospitality, gastronomy, and brand spaces. They design spaces that tell stories and create sensations and atmospheres. They designed restaurants for some of the most prestigious chefs in the world, including those with 4-star Michelin restaurants, such as world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià.
Photography by Adrià Goula.