A commercial premise without specific use belonging to a residential complex in a suburban area of Alicante, is our starting point. The place is structured in two plants set back 3 meters from the facade, which translates into the existence of a double height space common to both levels. Its generous façade faces south, and flows into a broad and unfrequented boulevard, of which it is possible to emphasize its central band, populated of leafy trees, little more.

The objectives of the intervention are several, to generate attraction on the establishment itself preserving the privacy of the diners, protect us against the long sunshine without giving up incorporating the green environment nearby, and of course, to exploit the spatiality that the local owns.

With respect to the program, the restaurant allocates the ground floor to house a bar area and high tables, aimed at diners looking for a format of quality food that is not necessarily long lasting, the kitchen and a toilet (handicapped). In the upper floor, the most quiet area, there is a select dining room for 20 people, a small bar dedicated to the preparation of cocktails, an office, a toilet and the heating installations room. The capacity of the establishment is about 50 people.

Among the project decisions, three are of particular interest. First, the treatment of the facade cladding, conceived as a precise plane, ordered in modules of clear vertical component, and with a deliberately exaggerated thickness. This ground floor plan is practically blind, and its mission is to mark a clearly defined boundary between a soulless urban road and a warm and welcoming interior, between inside and outside. Likewise, the facade in this level, acts as protection against the sun and as a necessary element to preserve the privacy of users. At first floor level, the façade is shaped like a large hollow that frames the treetops of the nearby boulevard, offering a friendly view of the exterior to the diners. This arrangement presents an anomaly, which consists of the vertical ‘displacement’ of one of the modules in which the façade is organized, which makes it possible to create a ‘window’ at street level, and offer the passerby the possibility of observing the interior that this thick wall encloses.

Secondly, and as it could not be otherwise, it has been tried that the space with double height is recognized as the heart of the establishment, concentrating the whole attention of the spectator in its height. To achieve this purpose, the planes that delimit this space have been carefully taken care of, also the light that makes it tense, and finally, the visual relations that allow its contemplation from different areas of the establishment.

Finally and in third place, it is possible to emphasize the chosen palette of materials, of limited number and always to the service of the best perception and use of the space. Sobriety and elegance are the values we pursue.

On the façade, there are masonry walls covered with lime mortar taped by strips of calibrated steel and glazing with solar control. The access gate to the establishment is marked by a canopy, and this is conceived as a masonry wall more when closed.

In the interior, the floors of both plants are planes of the same nature, neutral, gray, heavy. In the ground floor, a much more tough material as a micro-mortar of resins is used, which is interlaced in the staircase with the floor of the first floor, a ceramic plane that emulates the traditional cement tile, and which intends to bring tradition, detail and industriousness, in allusion to the quality of the gastronomic offer that the customer will find in here.

The vertical planes and the ceilings, white, light and luminous, except for the main lateral walls of both plants that are covered by a wood lathing that gives warmth and reinforces the vertical reading of the space, to which also other orders of the intervention contribute as the lighting and furniture.

Department: Architectural Services

Title: Restaurante El Cielo

Location: Alicante

Year: 2016-2017

Area: 165 m2

Budget: 183.700 euros

Client: Private

Type: Commission

Status: Complete


Project Architect: José Antonio Cantó Hidalgo

Technical Architect: José Antonio Cantó Hidalgo