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Croma by Flash

Capturing the moment

27.11.20

Flash Flash the eternally youthful restaurant that introduced the swinging sixties to Barcelona in 1970 now has a companion restaurant, Croma by Flash. A restaurant and bar that references the classic icon of local gastronomy and style but with a different culinary offering. Designed by Llamazares Pomés Arquitectura the interior responds directly to its setting, in this case on Av. Diagonal with its wide open expanse of space and light. The playful approach to incorporating graphics, colour and glamour however that defined the original Fash Flash by Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá are preserved.   The following description was provided by the designers.

The Croma restaurant project was conceived out of the great respect and admiration of these two great architects who together with Leopoldo Pomés, helped transform the architecture, interior design and in fact the culture of a grey, post-war Barcelona. Flash Flash was and is one of the city’s most innovative restaurants both for its interior design and food offering.

  • Croma by Flash BCN
  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    Croma by Flash reinterprets the main features of the Correa-Milá project from the 70s, in other words the spaces are organised around islands of tables and terraces over different levels with a perimeter white banquette seating; the ceiling height is used to create a sense of scale, more human, to make warmer and more domestic spaces; the geometry is meticulous but at the same time versatile; creating an architectonic space where decoration is unnecessary; the bar counter doesn’t divide the space nor is it an isolated element; the space features materials with shiny finishes: glass, laminates, stainless steel, lacquered and varnished wood, everything reflects the light ….

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    Flash Flash was considered daring in its use of black and white, ignoring even shades of grey, with Croma it is precisely the shades of grey that become the focal point together with the colour yellow that recreates the hue of the Kodak film roll box and as an homage to the 60s the bathroom features a typical chromatic range of the era: the colour violet, green, orange, red and greyish-blue.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    Without doubt the most distinctive element of the restaurant is the 7 captivating roof-lights that divide the space. They came about because of the need to lower the ceiling height which was considered too high for our restaurant. This might seem contradictory given the demand for tall ceilings among restaurant owners nowadays. We thought that this approach would dramatise the definition of the spaces and produce a more horizontal spatial effect.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    These roof-lights are the only places where the found ceiling height is utilised. The iconic image of the Flash photographer is featured throughout the walls of Croma and is reflected like a kaleidoscope within the roof-lights thanks to the multiple reflections of the mirror cladding and the dreamy magical back-lit image. The reflected light is of a homogeneous colour that recreates the orange filters of a photography studio developing room.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    The restaurant is divided into three zones: “The terrace”, the dining area and the bar. “The terrace” is a raised dais, 45 cm above the main dining floor, a characteristic element of 60s and 70s architecture, creating a sensation of spaciousness in what is in reality a modest interior. One could say that the terrace is a space to see and be seen.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    The bar counter is the single element that connects the entire space: providing a place to welcome customers, useful storage, cake display area and the serving counter of course. The different seating zones are configured by the banquette seating also featured in Flash Flash but here making a reference to another restaurant project by Correa-Milá, at Reno, where the upholstery seams are expressed vertically rather than horizontally.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    Except for the walls and the flooring all the materials used have a white gloss finish; the walnut wood of the bar counter and the furniture accessories, the stainless steel rings on the façade as well as the skirting boards, the seating, the tabletops and the bathroom, not forgetting the new photographic flashes also in stainless steel metal, all combined generating an infinite game of lighting reflections.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    The interior is lit using indirect lighting that is provided by the flashes and the artificially illuminated roof-lights, reinforced by a rail of spotlights positioned strategically around the perimeter of the roof-lights providing direct lighting over each of the tables below. The combination of these three elements allows for an enormous variation in lighting possibilities, from the day-time to a restaurant that becomes the ideal place to end the night with a well deserved cocktail. That’s when the kaleidoscope effect comes into its own, when night falls and the fun begins.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    The classic red light fittings “M68” designed by Miguel Milá and produced by Santa&Cole positioned over the only fixed table in the entire restaurant and the cake display case add a touch of warmth and colour to the space as well as the black Headhat Bowl lamp, also by Santa&Cole over the closet by the entrance and the ambient lighting over the bar counter. All, obviously, in a gloss finish.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    One of the spaces designed with greatest attention to detail is the bathroom. Once again the idea of inter-reflections and light is playfully conjured using mirrors and shiny laminates. The bathroom becomes a place of homage and memory. A celebration of the pop colours of the late 1960s, the violet laminate of the bathroom reigns over the entire space except for the cubicles that are each given a distinctive colour; green, orange, red and greyish-blue. The light fittings reference the iconic old photographic flash bulbs, opal glass ceiling lights with the real homage located just inside the bathroom door, in the shared lobby: the “Photography gallery”, a sort of sanctuary where for the first time an original image of the ‘Flash’ girl is shown without its characteristic graphic treatment.

  • Croma by Flash BCN

     

    And then there is the facade. Formed by stainless steel rings that recreate the original Flash Flash frontage and a continuous graphic frieze. A frieze that acts as an over-scaled ad facing towards Av. Diagonal. A row of photographers that capture the attention of passers-by with their constant flashing of light bulbs that direct the view towards the restaurant entrance where the visitor becomes the VIP guest: the portrait subject.

  • Croma by Flash BCN