astet studio designs culinary space in southern spain
barcelona-based astet studio has designed leña marbella, a new culinary space in spain that treasures the essence of primary materials such as stone and wood. the central focus of the steakhouse is meat and the different ways to cook it – whether smoked or grilled – which also form the basis of the space’s design concept. the textures of firewood and its origin, the trunk, are translated into interior elements that all together immerse guests in a multisensory environment dominated by an intense jet black palette that covers everything — from the walls, to the ceilings, floors and even the furniture. this tone emerges as a testimony of burned, charred wood using the japanese yakisugi technique, and is brightened or darkened as needed to highlight the immensity of variables that black has in firewood.
a monumental ceiling of sinuous lines in stained ash wood, extruded at different heights, tops the restaurant, resembling the rings of a cut log. this curved ceiling also functions as a light sculpture, whose dim luminosity creates the feeling that each ring is on fire as a reminder that fire is latent in the kitchen and in the environment. meanwhile, turning back to earth and its raw textures, two suspended volumes emerge within the dark backdrop as a reference to the rocks that are used to generate fire.all images by salva lopez
leña marbella treasures the essence of fire, stone and wood
upon entering the restaurant, guests are met with a façade of black circular metallic forms that resembles the shape of rings found in chopped firewood. the transparent glass alternates with another type of glass that was exclusively designed by astet studio (more here) for leña marbella, with an amber tone and a pyramidal texture, which creates a visual filter and interesting optical effects. once past the entrance door, an opaque, curved and wooden lobby serves as a small welcome area where both the ceiling and the floor experiment with textures, refining the primitivism of fire and wood. leña’s interior space is distributed in an open floor plan, featuring seating groups each with its unique ambience, that caters to different moods, showing different nuances, colors and textures.
the first space is the whiskey bar that features a five-meter wooden truck punched with linear mirror stripes and topped by a veined black tropical stone. a suspended brass bar canopy that also functions as a pendant light hangs over the bar and nicely contrasts with its dark tones. the large skylight provides natural lighting to the space and unites it with luminosity to the outdoor terrace. past the bar, the monumental ceiling guides diners through the organic volumes that form the restaurant’s sculptural seating areas. two large benches create the seating in this area; the first one, on one side of the interior, is a continuous all- black serpentine bench that emerges out of a backlit smoke background. the second; a central organic volume with double curvature that curves both in plan and elevation composes unique micro-spaces where one can sit and enjoy the restaurant’s dishes.
terrazzo floor with brown and ocher stones under the central sculptural bench
as if it were a theater, the kitchen area opens onto the restaurant through a sleek brass skin which slides into the large volcanic stone that makes up the grill area. there, customized ceramic tiles in anthracite give texture to the walls while theatrical lighting shows the different areas of the kitchen, as if they were different acts of a play. the restaurant hall is separated from the toilet areas through a smoke gradient glass partition with a large suspended rock. after crossing the glass partition, one enters a longitudinal vaulted space in cream and brass tones and complete with dynamic pivoting mirrors. the richness of brass and its polished surface contrasts with the arid texture of the rock that contains the sink.
under the central sculptural bench, a terrazzo floor contrasts the black zimbabwe granite flooring
armchairs designed by astet feature a palette of amber and orange tones