|Project Name||Nota Blu||Posted in||Restaurants, Design, Interior Design||Location||
s/n Camino de la Cruz
|Telephone||+34 951 55 27 27||Interior Designer||Astet||Completed||October 2022|
Barcelona-based interior design practice Astet Studio has a reputation for designing elevated restaurants that aesthetically channel their gastronomical profile in sophistication. For Nota Blu, a brasserie in Marbella on Spain’s Costa del Sol, the Studio took its cues from Chef Fabián Canga’s modern take on traditional French cuisine and Mediterranean-inflected dishes embracing a design language that is inspired by artisanal heritage, laidback charm and the unfussy elegance of the French Riviera. Organic forms and curvilinear details are combined with earthy hues, natural materials and tactile textures to imbue the space with a soulful sense of materiality and craftsmanship. At the same time, the syncopated interlay of organic and geometric patterns conveys a dynamic playfulness as a nod to jazz music’s famous “blue notes” (off key notes that are played for expressive purposes) wherefrom the 400-seat brasserie takes its name.
Access to the restaurant is a rather ceremonial affair courtesy of the venue’s Andalusian architecture; after crossing a olive tree-lined reflecting pond inside a walled courtyard, patrons step through a monumental double-height portal to find themselves in an impressive vestibule where interlocking wooden arches create a ribbed vault passage. There, installations crafted from dry leaves cascade down from the ceiling amplifying the sense of wonder and further setting the tone for the nature-inspired flourishes in the interior design further inside. From there, isitors are led into a bright and airy dining area wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glazing that can be opened to extend the space onto a spacious terrace overlooking the mountains.
Nota Blu’s main hall feels warm and intimate thanks to a soothing palette of cream hues and natural wood as well as the introduction of sinuous banquette seating that divides the space into small “islands”. Amorphous timber-clad sections, foliage installations and branch-like brass chandeliers turn the ceiling into a fluid seascape in reflection of the seating layout and the abstract patterns of the stone-paved floor. Curvaceous details abound, from the rounded forms of the bespoke banquettes and chairs, sumptuously upholstered in tan leather and off-white fabrics, to the shapely cocktail bar and open-kitchen counters. Crafted in Calacatta Viola marble and walnut wood, and decorated with brass details, the two bar and kitchen counters create a strapping sculptural backdrop around which the dining room organically unfolds.
The main dining hall and adjoining dining terrace are complemented by a glass-enclosed wine cellar that doubles as a 10-seat private dining room, and a dreamy piano bar draped in sheer fabrics. Tiptoeing between simplicity and sophistication, and order and abstraction, Nota Blu’s symphonic composition of larger and smaller spaces makes, if anything else, for an intriguing guest experience and that’s even before tasting the brasserie’s flavour-rich, modern-Mediterranean menu.