Al Tun Tun 01.12.15

altuntun

A Valencian bistro updates the traditional French aesthetic with a light installation of 57 randomly arranged glass globes

For his restaurant in Valencia, Valentin Sanchez wanted to create an informal, cafe-style venue, where customers could come and go all day. Upon hearing the brief, the designers at Tarruella Trenchs Studio immediately thought: French bistro.

The 1930s building, with its tall doors and windows to the street on two sides, lends itself to the idea, but the studio updated the concept with a restrained palette of colours and materials. “We wanted a modern perspective on the bistro,” says Ricard Trenchs, creative director at the Barcelona-based practice. “The stone surfaces with brass perimeters are taken from the original, but we applied more rounded shapes and gave the tables modern legs. Chairs, in leather and walnut, are simplified from French examples.”

The most striking feature is a site-specific light sculpture that contrasts with the simple, wood-panelled walls and emphasises the room’s height, drawing in passers-by. “Because of its position on a street corner, it’s a really visible location,” Trenchs says. The installation comprises 57 glass globes, each partly painted to disperse light, hanging at different levels from a tangle of black wires. The casual placement and varying size reflect the restaurant’s name, Al Tun Tún, or “randomly”.

The space is laid out to encourage informality. Stairs lead up to a mezzanine – an existing feature – which provides extra dining space. Underneath is the kitchen, visible from the tables and bar stools. “The idea was to have a kind of transparency. The client is a really casual person, so we wanted to give the impression he’s cooking for you – you can see him preparing his specialities.”

 

Words

Debika Ray

 

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