b-guided > Barcelona

Room Mate Pau

By Brian Gallagher 09.09.13

An interior design project inspired by surrealism and visual ambiguity. Pau is the latest hotel within the Room Mate Hotels chain that personalises the act of staying in a hotel by conferring characteristics to a building rather like staying at a friend’s’ house. In this particular case Pau manages a restaurant and lives in the very epicentre of Barcelona where the gothic city meets the modern city at Plaza Catalunya. His interest in food is legible throughout the hotel as well as his preoccupation about the environment, he’s a committed cyclist.

The building was formerly occupied by offices of Caixa Catalunya, it was refurbished by a + b Arquitectes (habitual collaborators with the group) together with architect and interior designer Teresa Sapey. There are 66 rooms in total organised around the 3 internal courtyards that introduce light deep into the plan of this narrow city centre site. The outstanding feature of the project is the graphic design and its integration within the architectural spaces which at once references Luis Buñuel and Magritte and other surrealist artists while respecting the integrity of the existing structure. The tripple height reception and lobby are dominated by an oversized graphic of a disembodied sports jacket in constant attendance for the lifts that serve the upper floors. Within the existing light wells a series of artist interventions inspired by the eye and act of overlooking are the dominant elements. Trompe l’oeil, voyeur we are never quite sure here whether we are the observer or the observed.

A roof terrace and restaurant also form part of the refurbishment project, the visual theme is continued with images of the city decorating the roof balustrade while the restaurant opens out onto the larger of the internal courtyards. The rooms themselves are generous and all are provided with a sculptural back-lit headboard that features the circular leitmotif and a wardrobe/wash basin furniture installation that can be closed when not required. All rooms are equipped with the standard of fittings one would expect from a contemporary and stylish hotel.

  • hotel foyer

  • hotel atrium featuring surrealistic atmosphere

  • windows in the corridors decorated with vinyls

  • all furniture design in the rooms is by Teresa Sapey, made with Corian

  • acces to the terrace

  • terrace decorated with a trompe l'oeil photograh fixed to the balustrade

  • central courtyard with outdoor furniture by Vondom:
    Adán heads (Teresa Sapey), Stones (Stefano Giovannoni), Lava (Karim Rashid)