El Mama & La Papa Bar Restaurant in Barcelona by El Equipo Creativo


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space which plays with duality and the mixture of opposites: the protagonists are two large bars, El Mama and La Papa, facing one another with a dance floor in between.

An “oxymoron” is the union of two words that have contradictory or opposite meanings but which together form a phrase with a new meaning. As the name of the locale suggests, our client wanted to create a space which played upon duality and the mixture of opposites: man – woman; black- white; day – night. In the evening, in addition to food and drinks, a burlesque show would be offered to introduce a party atmosphere and dancing.

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The building in which it is located -- an old canning warehouse -- was a space with a great deal of personality as far as structure is concerned. We wanted to emphasize this by painting it a bright red in order to unify the different areas.

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The design concept is based on the counter positioning of opposite elements, where each piece has its counterpoint. From the four corners of the almost square area, we are welcomed by large neon signs. Facing each other in pairs, they display clear messages in the form of oxymoron: Never – Again; Peace – Force; Holy – Hell; Public – Secret. The starting point leaves no doubt.

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ElMama LaPapa PLAN



Two arcades frame the central space with double height and serve as background for the two bars facing each other from opposite sides. Next to the white arcade on the facade is “El Mama”, a 360-degree daytime bar on a white surface, cozy with details of wood and much vegetation. At the opposite extreme on the black arcade is the cocktail bar “La Papa”; with a black metallic industrial surface, it offers the nocturnal counterpoint.

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On the two lateral sides of the space we proposed structural platforms at different levels connected by a large catwalk-stage to generate multiple paths through the space. The different levels, once again facing each other, create more private areas reserved for events and even a “secret bar” or speakeasy.

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The different levels, benches and bars frame what, after a certain hour, will become the center of attention: the dance floor. Regarding the material nature of the project, once again we dealt with opposites: polished woods over the original worn paint of the walls, pavements of Mediterranean-style mosaic ceramics next to fine dark woods or industrial metal slabs. The world of contrasts is infinite.

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Architects: EL EQUIPO CREATIVO _ Oliver Franz Schmidt + Natali Canas del Pozo + Lucas Echeveste Lacy

Location: Passatge de Pere Calders, 2, 08015, Barcelona

Size: 500 sqm

Year: 2016

Design of Neons: Alex Trochut 

Photography: Adrià Goula/ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Client: Joan Soler Baldrich

Manufacturers: Thonet, Tom Dixon, Stellar works, GUBI


EL EQUIPO CREATIVO is an interior design studio based in Barcelona and specialized in the design of gastronomic, commercial and brand spaces.

Since 2010 they have worked for some of the most prestigious chefs in the world, like Ferran Adrià, and their designs gather 4 michelin star restaurants. Their projects have been recognized in more than 20 international design awards, and are broadly published worldwide in design, trends and general press.

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