April 30th, 2013 – New to the streets of Barcelona is a restaurant that fuses Japanese and Brazilian gastronomies in a space that finds shared singularities between the two cultures. Oliver Franz Schmidt and Natali Canas del Pozo, founders of Barcelona based creative firm El equipo creativo, spearheaded the design of Ikibana Paral·lel, a place where culinary and architectonic concept goes hand-in-hand.
Japan and Brazil are two antagonistic cultures at first glance, one is minimalist and quiet, while the other is lush and bustling. The restaurant offers an interesting fusion Ikibana for their cuisines – its design also aims to extol some of its singularities shared, such as the importance of landscape in both cultures.
The architects used the space to visually translate the idea of the Ikibana’s food concept. Fusing design elements of two cultures can sometimes be tricky, but Schmidt and Pozo took inspiration from traditional Japanese flower arrangements called Ikebanas, and from Brazil’s Amazon rainforest to create the multicultural atmosphere.
The result of such a concept manifested into a landscape of layered wood that covers the walls and ceilings along with eclectically sized wood seating pods that are scattered throughout the space. The windy wood layers travel through the restaurant representing the wood of a rainforest, while creating a feeling of movement throughout the space. The seating pods, and colorful tables inside of the pods are a inspired from the flowers of the Ikibana arrangements.
In order for the establishment to operate properly, the spacial layout and movement of the restaurant needs to be functional. “The space should allow a constant movement of waiters presenting food to liven the atmosphere, activity all around the restaurant and working areas to be visible to clients,” Schmidt explained. “Here, a fluid space meanders around the restaurant, producing infinite angles of vision.”