In the heart of Lisbon, the restaurant designed by the Bastir architecture firm reveals historic signifiers within an undeniably contemporary mood
José Pedro Vieira and Diogo Rosa Lã, alias Bastir - Arquitectura e Design de Interiores, have undertaken many projects in Portugal - private homes, hotels, restaurants - and established their own, minimalist contemporary vision, characterised by elegant overtones of a renewed historic tradition and a fusion touch.
This is perfectly reflected in the Sítiogourmet restaurantat the Valverde Hotel Lisboa, the city’s only Relais & Châteaux establishment, recently reopened after three years of refurbishment and located on Avenida Da Libertade, one of the capital’s most elegant thoroughfares. Traditional cuisine reinterpreted by chef Carla Sousa, sophisticated clientele, high ceilings, artworks, furnishings in vintage taste, and a relaxing, eclectic mood: a place no gourmet (or other!) traveller should miss.
Wooden vertical partitions rather like sunscreens break up the interior of the dining room and separate the tables to provide privacy in an interior that is relaxing and quiet, thanks also to the original use on the ceiling of Burel, a local pure wool fabric which resembles felt and has impressive soundproofing properties. “Reminiscences of London and evocations of New York town houses are translated here into an elegant, classic language. We set out to create a unique, different location through the use of lights, carefully chosen fabrics, and the layout of the space: an oasis of comfort and discreet luxury, with an intimate, home-like atmosphere.”
On entering the restaurant’s dining room, the most eye-catching feature is certainly the floor, installed in a masterly combination of colour and light. Crogiolo Lume porcelain stoneware tiles, in 6x24 cmsize, installed in a herringbone pattern with an alternation of the Green, Blue and Blackshades, create the impression of a fabric, as their surfaces generate brilliant vibrations of light that bounce off the intentionally flawed surface to provide the “unique situation” Bastir were seeking.
In the heated pool area, to contrast with the slabs of pale limestone, the local stone, the small size ceramic tiles of the Crogiolo Zellige collection are used in Carbone Lux finish to cover the sides and bottom of the pool. A striking, unexpected colour that evokes the deep shade of the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The architects’ search for a unique effect is also clear in their choice of the Crogiolo collections, which interpret the manual skills of ceramic craftsmen in contemporary style, with all the look and feel of hand-made tiles.
Ph Marília Maia e Moura