It’s always quite impressive to see new approaches in traditional spaces; such is the example with Ara Pizza in the surroundings of Barcelona which was recently designed by Pablo Téllez who runs a young design agency founded last year.  Ara Pizza is a newly opened eco-fast food restaurant in Sant Quirze del Valles, thirty minutes away from Barcelona city center. Located in the main commercial road of Sant Quirze, Téllez took the challenge of reconverting an almost rectangular old Smith's workshop, where it's best attribute was an outstanding high ceiling.

Téllez divided the restaurant space into two main functioning areas; a space for take away or home service deliveries and a second floor area which functions in serving the customers who wish to sit and enjoy their food.

Most of the functioning activities take place in the area where the customers sit to enjoy their food; the customer’s circulation and the get together have been solved by means of linking prism shapes at different heights.  The distinguishing element which is no other than the high ceiling was used as the backdrop of these prisms.  Téllez gathers all his creativity by using the height to his advantage; he created triangular prisms with a void in some spaces, which come down at different heights thus producing different light effects on the walls.  The result is very inviting for the customer who is able to enjoy different views from different positions within the restaurant.  This interesting and clever approach suits very well into a pizza fast food restaurant as one could identify the shapes with the triangular pizza slices!

The atmosphere within the restaurant is very minimal; the colors which have been used have assisted in promoting this feeling where very neutral colors and tones of grey have been used in the customers’ area.   On the contrary the staff areas have warmer colors and a more revealing function along with the restaurants corporative logo. Furthermore, Tellez designed the space having the end-user in mind.  For this instance he designed a special shaped table, build in Valchromat and cut with CNC. The tables which he designed particularly for this space can overlap like different segments of a silkworm, adapting every set of tables to the spatial condition defined by every group of people that occupies the space during the day.  Similarly, they selected the Dr.yes chairs from Kartell designed by Eugeni Quitllet and Phillip Stark.  These chairs were chosen for being light weight and resistant, therefore allowing a very flexible and easy-to-move set.

All the decoration and artwork images have been designed and drawn by hand.  Téllez wanted to escape from the “conventional fast-food images based on shouting-signs and choosing a set of more relaxed images with specific cheerful/humorist set of colorful animals interacting with different restaurant products.”
Undoubtedly what draws attention the most is the creative approach taken towards the ceiling which continues and has been drawn on the walls creating a totally different appearance every time that you change your seat within the restaurant.  The different color of the triangular prisms creates an interest to the client who wants to discover if what he sees is void or not.  In many cases it seems as if the wall is at an angle creating an optical illusion to the human eye.

Ara Pizza by Pablo Téllez

1 of