Tucked away in the port quarter of the Black Sea city of Novorossiysk, Russia, is the stunning new grill and wine bar Barco. The latest project from Barcelona-based design studio Ample, Barco is a masterclass in sophistication that incorporates references to sea travel and Catalonian modernism in a harmonious yet understated way.
As you enter the first of Barco's two zones - divided by showcase windows - you are immediately struck by the dominant design element: a six-metre-long mobile lighting construction. Amplified by the surrounding soft hues of the natural materials and the shiny metallic surfaces, this piece creates a fairytale atmosphere in the space. In the second space a small fireplace and collections of ‘‘trophy’’ items, sourced from flea markets in Barcelona, Lisbon and small Catalonian towns, create a cosy vibe; meanwhile, vintage maps, patterned woodwork and huge antique wall clocks complete the puzzle of a fantastical sea-voyage scenography reminiscent of an old captain’s cabin.
Despite the industrial elements and dark colour palette used by the designers, a sense of elegance is achieved that feels organic and effortless. Clever design elements further enhance the quality of the overall project, seen for example in the sliding wooden panels that are opened during the weekends to reveal a set of glistening mirrors. Ample Studio has also created the logo, menus and other publicity material for Barco, in a style that further adds to the restaurant’s modern yet inviting and warm atmosphere: where menus see a ‘‘creative’’ approach to the traditional grill restaurant, infusing the local tradition of Caucasian cuisine with select Mediterranean dishes.