For years, Barcelona Tapas has been a creatively successful culinary and social scene on a quiet cobblestone backstreet in the tropical, seaside, destination of Puerto Vallarta. The vertical profile of the sun-bleached white building is distinctive with its open spaces – dining rooms on each ascending level.

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It is a extremely popular, hip and happening, dining venue which has recently had a spectacular face-lift that brings the structure and open-aired/interior environment up to par with the culinary delights.

Upon arrival, the familiar, welcoming doorway opens to softly lit aggregate stairs that sweep up each tier of the towering edifice.

A massive Cantera stone fountain babbles gently amidst tropical plantings and an iron grill-work is indirectly illuminated for a dramatic effect. An expansive patio all with honed stone tile floors begins the layers of available spaces.

Next an intimate open-aired dining area with an adjacent chef’s table and luminous, full-wall wine cooler beckons with an inviting aura. The intense red drama of a bullfight is rendered in a large painting on the rear wall – a suiting backdrop to the Spanish theme.

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Continuing the ascension, the delightful glossy black ironwork railing follows along and up the open-to-the-sky aggregate staircase turning past the last landing.  Ahead, the beautiful,  warm glow of the new dimensional ceiling treatment accented with wood and indirect lighting draws the eye upward.

Upon arrival on this rooftop dining platform, what was always an exciting view of the city lights, both in the foreground and circling the bay miles around to the north,  now expresses the new architectural features and finishes dazzling the eye.

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Effective lighting, recessed ceiling details, a new clear glass railing, and modern ceiling fans dangling like detached white nosecone propellers present a whole new, fresh, modern look. The drama and effectiveness of the lighting paired with the wonderful surround sound, coming from eight Bose wall-mounted speakers and 2 sub-woofers recessed into the ceiling, result in an atmosphere and music that are seductive and sensational.

But wait – there’s more!!! Yes, an additional rooftop dining patio is revealed upon discovering the hidden staircase at the far end of the bar. New furniture and a billowing fabric-draped portico are soon to arrive!

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This new space not only increases the seating capacity, but offers yet another  panoramic view and trendy design-themed open venue – expanding the options even more!

The project is Chef/Owner Bill Carballo’s passion.

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He has been at it for years creating deliciously original and traditional Spanish tapas (here his exquisie presentations have been half eaten in the rush to enjoy)

from the immaculate exhibition kitchen at the start of the long bar, with a fine-tuned staff eager to assist and cater to your every need.

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This enchanting transformation has attracted new discriminating, trend-setting clients and welcomed the return of  loyal fans to experience this exciting new and stylish interpretation of Barcelona Tapas.

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The doormen Luis and his affable sidekick are there to greet and assist!

Thank you gentlemen and Buenos Noches until next time!!!!

Fun with PERF!

December 3, 2016

Currently finishing a project that has provided a great theme for incorporating metal, it seemed a worthy blog subject for it’s fun and flexibility! Perf is the product – a perforated steel that comes in several percentages of perforation.

We have used this many times for rolling window shades in a flexible coated nylon material. It is great for filtering for sunlight and privacy while allowing a certain amount of “see-through.” It has been used as an architectural screening material for years. You have probably seen it and not realized it on building storefronts and bus wraps – the perforated vinyl coatings are often used for advertisement because they read as though a solid from the one side and are transparent from within.

Here we are playing around with the steel to create cool elements that compliment the theme of this new taproom. The theme is silver and what material does bring to mind? Metallic. So by dressing raw steel with paint – we apply the silver finish and there we have it!

The required outside patio fencing was constructed with very generic square stock. I called it a hamster cage. It was a bland beige when we first arrived and, without notice, the shopping center management had it and the other structural columns lining the canopy/portico painted chocolate brown.

The plan had been to screen it with perforated panels. The darker paint color created a little better contrast and aided in providing a depth of detail to set-off the silver painted perf.

Inside we needed to fill the volume of this most uninteresting dropped ceiling. Already painted black and looking quite voluminous – but not in a good way – the empty space needed some mass. So in one of those restless, middle-of-the-night design sessions of insomnia the idea to create large drums for lighting shades came to mind.

Drums have been in vogue for several years now. Nothing original from the initial use for table lamp shades except their use was broadened to include suspended fixtures and halved for wall sconces. You’ve seen them – hip and happening – and these were quite over-sized and carried the space.

We needed to fill the void of the 12′ high ceilings in this room that had little or no comfort. All hard surfaces, it was a challenge to maintain the silver theme and edginess of a popular taproom while creating comfort. Seemed an oxymoron of a task. But the mass of the perforated drums in three different sizes grouped in the near center of the room did just that.

The addition of multiple warm white lamps inside will be the crowning touch. (photo to be added here in a week or so)

Then a third use of the perforated material came in the idea for a room-divider/hostess station.

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We needed a place to create a point of arrival. Whether manned or unmanned, this unit can have a chalkboard or other signage identifying special events or beer tastings, with a podium in front creates a translucent backdrop to partially cordon off the rest of the space until the customers are greeted and it also can divide the space for special events and table groupings. to accomplish all of those various purposes we designed it with heavy duty commercial casters complete with brakes so that it could be moved easily for its grand height and weight and  placed where needed for the best advantage.

Stay tuned for the complete un-veiling of this cool new interior in the coming weeks. And meanwhile dream of all the fun you can have with perf!

 

Resourcefulness in the Field

November 19, 2016

A bird in the hand or resourcefulness pays off – this is just a quick bit of designer humor for your Saturday morning. As I flew on an early bird flight to Phoenix for a couple of projects last week, I was sitting on the flight taking stock of what I wanted to accomplish, what was on the agenda and all the tools of the trade and accouterments and finish materials that I was taking with me. After feeling well prepared, I settled into the always enjoyable Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine.

Arriving in Phoenix was a climate change right off the bat as the outside air seeped into the jetway with a warm, welcoming temperature in the high 70s at that already early hour. As an aside just to continue the story, we had been alerted from the flight deck that there was a delay in the concourse and that we would be held at the gate until the disturbance was cleared. Sure enough, upon deplaning and entering the gate area, hundreds of people were jammed together facing to the right in anticipation of learning what was happening and hoping to soon be released. So I took my place among the hoards of travelers and occasionally stood on my tip-toes to see the TSA barrier of agents keeping us at bay.

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After nearly an hour we were herded to the adjacent gate and led single file out onto a mobile ramp staircase down to the tarmac and into buses which wheeled us to the D concourse where we could get to baggage claim and ground transportation. Half of the travelers making connecting flights were still held risking connections and trying patience.

Nobody was offering an explanation and when asked the response was merely that there was a security breach. Until one young SWA agent whispered to me that there was a suspicious package and that security was waiting for the dogs to investigate and until they arrived the package could not be touched. So that answered that.

Excitement over, I retrieved my bag full of engineered stone and laminate samples, paint fan decks and fabrics. Grateful that an earlier mishap at security required that I check my would-be carry-on rolling bag (which weighed a ton and would not have been fun to stow overhead) when I had forgotten about a lovely little jar of local Heidi’s Chile Raspberry jam that I was taking to my client as a hostess gift. Stopped and searched by TSA the agent kindly offered that I check my bag to save the jam – she escorted me out so that I could retrace my steps back down to the main level and check my bag.

At the SWA ticket counter I hoisted the bag onto the scales and began telling the agent about my return from TSA with my contraband and I began unzipping the bag. Clumsily juggling my purse and holding the jar of jam it flew from my hands dropping with a crash onto the brick floor and rolled away as she and I stood saucer-eyed with horror. Miracle of miracles it did not break – even crack- how that was possible, falling from that height onto a brick floor, we will never know. But it appeared after having been discovered and confiscated at security and surviving a fall from about 24 inches above a brick floor that it was destined to get to Phoenix.

As the time unfolded, we found ourselves in a meeting with the architect to do a plan review and some minor revisions prior to beginning construction. The place was demolished and debris was all about.

We found a table and spread the plans. As we began discussing the details, I realized  that with all my preparation that I had forgotten the roll of flimsy. I never travel without flimsy – trace – the roll of translucent paper that is the quick-study tool for sketching over plans. Dang.  So there we were and all of a sudden Felicia looks over a few feet away and spies a blue cardboard box covered with drywall dust. There sitting on a planter ledge in the elevator lobby of the third floor was a forgotten box of toilet seat liners!!!! Yes, how funny – she offered “won’t this work?” And we tore out a few sheets and began our work tracing options over the plans. Brian, the architect, will surly enjoy seeing himself here in today’s blog hard at work over his paper toilet seat cover!!!

We look forward to a fabulous interior for Dr. Farhan Taghizadeh’s new Arizona Facial Plastics office scheduled for completion in January!!!

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