Unabashedly steeped in candy-coloured sumptuousness and dreamy iridescence with a touch of bubbly effervescence, “Wonder Galaxy”, as its name suggests, is a fantastical space conceived by Madrid-based Patricia Bustos Studio as a retro-futuristic bridge between the creative energies of childhood and an avant-garde vision of the future.
The project is part of this year’s Casa Décor, Madrid’s popular interior design event, now in its 54th edition. Conceived as a platform to showcase emerging trends in interior design, the event is centred on the transformation of a particular building where each room is revamped by a different designer. In this year’s edition, which took place from January 24 to March 10 in a 1930s mansion in the upscale neighbourhood of Salamanca, Patricia Bustos’ “Futuristic Childhood Revival” was conceived as the mansion’s dressing room. But this isn’t any old dressing room but one suitable for a superheroine of the future, a glimpse of whom can be found centre-stage above the bathtub in the form of Thunder Face, a lightning bolt-shaped portrait of model Ronja Okane by Mexican illustrator Paul Fuentes.
Inspired by the ground breaking aesthetic of the 1960’s and 1970’s filtered through Patricia’s own childhood references, the design of Wonder Galaxy is characterized by bold colours and a retro-futuristic aesthetic that marries surrealism and minimalism. Dominated by pink hues, the space embraces femininity with self-confidence and aplomb, while the iridescent windows establish a dream-like sensibility. Pink is a colour close to the designer’s heart, but more than that it can transform anything serious into something playful, thereby modernising the most classic piece and refreshing the most sober of environments.
A series of slender arches and layered alcoves bestow upon the space a sense of infinite depth while the extensive use of mosaic tiles is a triumph of pixilation that gives the impression you’ve stepped into a video game. Made from recycled glass, the ubiquitous mosaic tiles come in different finishes and colours but predominantly feature an off-white, matt finish which is playfully juxtaposed with the soft texture and bold colours of the graphic carpets and the shimmering iridescence of the dichroic window filters.
The rectilinear geometry of the mosaic tiling also provides the perfect background for the curvaceous “Bubble Gum sofa” that whimsically echoes the arched alcoves and the plastic bubbles filling the bathtub – as do the bubble-like pendant lights by Danish manufacturer Bolia. Custom designed for this project, as are all the furniture and accessories in the room, the sofa is upholstered in a pink metallized elastic fabric which further enhances its sculptural plasticity. For all you know, it could easily be re-shaped like Plasticine.
Further brandishing the retro-futuristic ambience of the space, the two marvellous “Spaceship” sinks are a marvel of design, featuring a pink alabaster basin supported on a glass pedestal and a slender tap rising from the floor made from polished brass. Concealed lighting that softly shifts in intensity and colour according to different scenarios is the icing on the cake that makes Wonder Galaxy a space where childhood fantasies, forced by adulthood into hibernation, can be reawakened in order to creatively re-imagine the future.