Based on his deepest respect and admiration for the Japanese culture, the student at CICE Madrid, Diego Hernández Camarasa, presented a unique oriental-flavoured concept-store project at the 9th PORCELANOSA Architecture and Interior Design Awards. Both the Tea House and Sushibar, a finalist in the Student Forward-Looking Projects category, turn out to be an excellent opportunity for tea lovers to get together in a place that is both a sushi restaurant and a shop that sells tea, and furthermore, it allows for having a cup of tea right in the store, all of this in the same space. Two clearly distinctive spaces but with the same contemplative philosophy, spiritual guidance and “path of life”.
It is worth highlighting how delicately Diego Hernández has worked on the creation of this project, by keeping the balanced and serene Japanese culture, light-and-shadow contrasts, and a natural artificial aesthetics in mind at all times. In order to achieve this warm touching Zen aura, Hernández Camarasa has carried out an excellent selection of materials and products from the PORCELANOSA Grupo, thus, providing his project with not only elegance and quality but exclusivity as well.
Among the materials from the PORCELANOSA Grupo, the author, in order to provide this project with a greater warmth and authenticity, opted for the natural wood from L’Antic Colonial for the flooring. He specifically chose the unique Tortona 1L Walnut, Authentic 1L Anthracite, Midi Eden Texture 1L Honey and Eden 1L Dark Grey parquet designs. On the other hand, the wall tiles combine natural stone with porcelain in the marble Globe Wall White model from L’Antic Colonial and the Zen Antracita PV ceramic wall tile in mosaic by Porcelanosa. Other firms such as Gamadecor and Noken are present in both the furniture and the bathroom equipment, without forgetting the countertop manufactured with the KRION® Solid Surface mineral compact in its 9903 Deep Granite version.
Thanks to the wide range of products by the PORCELANOSA Grupo, the student, Diego Hernández, managed to create an interior design based on a balance of the opposite: wood with metal, stone with glass, opaque materials with translucent ones, and rotundity and lightness, between stone and paper. The spaces also combine with this criterion : the outside is reflected into the inside, nature seeps into the store, and the spaces, intimate and reserved, preserve the privacy of the tea ceremony. Likewise, they are set up surrounding the garden, as if the inside activity was a part of the outside space.
Although both the sushi-bar and the store are presented as two spaces but with complementary activities, each one keeps its own features and functionality, and they are completely independent from each other if necessary. Furthermore, and with regard to their design, the contrast aesthetics is preserved, thus, becoming very clear when someone is in one space or the other. The project starts from an upper and darker area, the Sushi-Bar, where the water stream springs from, and then one can find the tea house, a space with both greater brightness and lighting. Finally, one gets to the zen garden, the lowest point of the place, which is open to the outside and it also has a pond as a main feature. It is an area with both sand and water elements, as if it symbolised the sea and the ancient Japanese monks’ contemplative techniques.
In short, it is a project which has been laid out as an important process, where the client moves from darkness to lightness, from impurity to purity, and from stress to peace, quietness and meditation.