Enigma, Barcelona

Designed by: RCR Arquitectes
For client: Neolith® by TheSize Floor area: 680.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Nominated for: Best Use of Material

2278 Enigma Restautrante Barcelona Low 040

About the Project

Enigma is a collaboration between Neolith®, a sintered stone brand manufactured by TheSize, and RCR Arquitectes. The restaurant is the vision of Barcelona-based chef Albert Adrià, bringing together gastronomy, architecture and technology for a pioneering dining experience.

Chef Adrià wanted to create a destination reflecting his innovative cuisine. He approached RCR Arquitectes, who collaborated with architect Pau Llimona, to draw up the original design in watercolour.

This proved so striking it was decided to bring it directly to life within the restaurant, approaching Neolith to help create the detailed décor.

Most importantly, the design throughout the establishment had to deliver an otherworldly interior in line with the original brief.

RCR drew two A1-size watercolour paintings with the intention of transferring it prolifically throughout the restaurant’s surfaces.

To bring this ambitious concept to reality, the original design had to be expanded whilst trying not to lose the quality of definition offered by the original drawing. Each pixel equals almost 1m² of the final flooring. Neolith Used proprietary digital printing decoration technology, Neolith® Digital Design, to re-create the design on slabs, producing a perfect replica of the drawing which was then applied throughout the restaurant’s interior – with stunning results. 

What’s unique about it

This project stretched what can be achieved on sintered stone surfaces to its very limits, offering a glimpse into future possibilities for the material in both commercial and residential settings.

It is important to mention that, up to this stage, watercolour had never before been done on sintered stone. RCR also required every slab to be of uneven texture, with a subtle shine to provide a multisensory surface. It was a considerable challenge, so Neolith undertook a large amount of meticulous research and development to ensure the architect’s brief could be delivered.

Consistency was crucial. With one material and one design needing to be applied everywhere from kitchen worktops and walls to bars, table tops and even the washrooms, attention to detail in application was essential.  

Through careful, logistical planning this was achieved. Neolith mapped the entire floor of the restaurant off-site to ensure a seamless application of the surface throughout Enigma. This emphasised a unified desire, from all parties involved, for perfection in design. The project hints at the future of fine dining and how stone manufacturers can play a significant role in helping to enhance the dining experience.

Enigma Restaurant Barcelona Neolith By The Size 3
Enigma Restaurant Barcelona Neolith By The Size 5
Enigma Acuarela
2278 Enigma Restautrante Barcelona 032
2278 Enigma Restautrante Barcelona 004
Enigma Pavimento C12
Enigma Pavimento E8
Jaime Rodón Martínez Barcelona Enigma 2

Location of project:
Credits:
RCR Architectes & Paul Limona

Albert Adriá

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