About the project
RÒMOLA. A Marble-Made Tent in the Galaxy
Awarded 2018 Europe Best Restaurant Design
This project transformed the former 1946 garage of Gutierrez Soto’s most significant building, located in the geographical center of Madrid, into a combined bakery, café and experimental restaurant. The original volume and structure of the building was restored, leaving a 5-meter-high space with massive openings onto the streets.
“[Transgender] Zahara is a mix of desert, coincidence and cafetería”
Pedro Almodóvar, La mala educación.
Architecture in Madrid has suffered from a hegemony of low-wage-based corporative franchises that have slowly invaded the city. Since 2008, this process has marginalized and made nearly extinct the whole material and human context of marble, leather, gold-chrome plated metal, and rare wood paneling craftwork that has, since the 1960s, been the social base in the development of Madrid’s cafeterias network: a network of shining, comfortable places where anonymous service is provided. This service, delivered with equal and standardized courtesy to everyone, has quickly turned the cafeterías into spaces for women and LGBTQ communities. This project is the result of a strategy to work with a small number of super-qualified marble manufacturers, leather upholsterers, metal benders, chrome-platers, rare-wood panellers, and artisan varnishers behind the material production of these cafeterias, and to use their skills to reintroduce into the city’s ecosystem the counter-austerity dissident spaces of the independent cafetería—a resistance to corporate hegemony.
A marble-made tent in the galaxy. Taking advantage of supermarble’s capacities to resist traction.
In the 1990s and 2000s the tiny town of Novelda (Valencia) became the hub for a transnational flow of rare marbles. Now inactive, the town’s extensive pools of accumulated dusty marbles, onyxes, and granites from around the world can be seen as an archeology of pre-austerity times. Whereas brick and hydraulic tiles are symbols of false authenticity, groundedness, and faked localism, Novelda marbles now embody a refreshingly contingent value. The ungroundedness of the marbles is registered by a number of technologies attached to them, such as fiberglass and resin reinforcements and their articulated anchoring systems, which are intended to render marble as a sort of “supermarble” capable not only of resisting compression but also traction. In what has been a unique engineering challenge, the project takes this capacity to its limits by creating a supermarble-made, self-standing tent. The tent accommodates tables and allows other uses (including cooking) to be organized in a C-shape periphery around it.
Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation
Laura Mora Vitoria, Roberto González García, Paola Pardo, Víctor Cano Ciborro, Nieves Calvo López, Marina Fernández Ramos, Marta Jarabo Devesa, Danay Kamdar, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín, Flavio Martella, Víctor Nouman García, Danae, Papaevangelou, Larissa Reis, Isabel Sánchez del Campo, Belverence Tameau, Borja García Lázaro.
Mecanismo. Ingeniería de Estructuras (Juan Rey, Jacinto Ruiz)
Service Design Consultancy:
DITEC. Diseño y Tecnología Ingenieros Consultores
Safe & Security Coordinator:
José María Gutiérrez
Miguel de Guzmán y Rocío Romero. Imagen Subliminal