El Equip Creativo is a Barcelona-based interior architecture studio, specialized in gastronomic, commercial, and hospitality spaces formed by international and young creative thinkers of architectural and design backgrounds.
Founded in 2010, the studio shares the idea that space tells stories, creates sensations and atmospheres. They work closely with clients to provide the best translation of their concepts and create spaces that entice all senses pushing the creative limits of materials and envelopes with each project.
Their work has been recognized in more than 40 international design awards and published in hundreds of publications worldwide.
What did your organisation gain from drawing together an entry?
Drawing together the entry for WIN Awards gave us the opportunity of looking back at our studio’s professional path over the past nine years. We had the chance to reflect on our identity and values, what characterises our interior designs and how far we had come since 2010 when we started our first project with the renowned chefs Ferran and Albert Adrià, Tickets Tapas Bar.
It was also a great moment to set goals for the future as interior designers and plan a strategy to move forward and keep designing tailored interiors for the hospitality and contract sector, as well as brand and commercial spaces. The core of our studio is the idea that space and food tells stories, create sensations and experiences.
We work very closely with our clients to provide the best translation of their gastronomic, commercial or hospitality concepts. Therefore, every new project is a challenge that starts with a thorough visual investigation. This process always leads us to unexpected ways to create new solutions, specific and surprising for each project. For us it is essential to maintain constant contact with our clients and to understand what their needs are entirely; our objective is to design a “custom-made suit” which fits with perfection their hospitality concept, target clientele, the location and surroundings in which we find ourselves. These components help us to develop a strong ideat which serves as a guide; if we achieve a good concept and are faithful to it to the end, the project will be a success.
How has winning the award given you more exposure?
Of course, we were delighted and honoured to be awarded the WIN award as Interiors Practice of the Year considered the fellow nominees. The awards have certainly increased our exposure to the international design field, along with the media coverage of this remarkable achievement. And after we started spreading the good news of the award; everyone involved was so excited about it.
I would say that we always try to tell a story with our projects, and many of them talk about Barcelona and Spain. The “sense of place” that some of our projects might express can also be related to the use of some traditional materials, like for example “ceramics”, which has been traditionally related to the Mediterranean culture.
But still, we think that many of our projects try to make the final client “travel” somewhere, mostly those projects with international gastronomic concepts that have served as inspiration for the design of the space, like for example Pakta, Peruvian-Japanese, Ikibana, Brazilian-Japanese or Fogo, Brazilian food. I believe that’s what makes each one of our projects unique.
We suppose our projects are quite specific in its response to the briefs and sometimes also quite risky due to the explosion of intense colours, the use of bright graphics or custom-made elements.
How did your win affect staff morale and the overall environment within your organisation?
The whole team was excited and exceptionally pleased with the winning. In general, as a studio, we experienced positive reactions among our friends and clients. For us, being selected together with such established and international firms was a great success.I believe what set us apart was that each one of our projects is unique. That’s because culture, history, some specific qualities of the city, the landscape and architecture always play a crucial role in our concepts, as they are very rich and vast areas to explore and find inspiration. Therefore, our design always has a sort of “sense of the place”. When we work with this type of approaches, we are also helping the final guest understand the space in relation to what they are enjoying and making the whole customer experience more complete. Lastly, we take special note of the concept as well as its functionality and construction solutions. It is of primary importance to us that space offers an original and unique experience and that it appeals to our five senses. We also like flying away from any pre-established idea and try to surprise our clients and ourselves. We design with a lot of freedom and start every new project from scratch, given that we are not trying to follow any design trend or create a very recognizable style of our own with which to be identified. For this reason, our design might end up having a longer lifespan and differ from the rest by having their very own personalities. We create atmospheres that evoke, rather than mimic, an idea, and avoid being too literal in order to create atmospheres. We like experimenting with materiality, color and texture, pushing them to the limits. They may be conventional, but we reimagine them in unexpected, conceptual ways, finding the right balance between technology, sophistication, and craftsmanship.
How do you feel the award process has been beneficial to perceptions of your team within/outside the organisation?
We usually share the good news with all our team and collaborators. Of course the more exposure El Equipo Creativo gets, the more our projects are known and considering we design hospitality spaces that’s good for our clients as well. We experienced positive reactions, especially among our team members and our clients. Right now, our studio is becoming even more “dynamic “, growing and starting a more international phase with projects in many countries thanks to this and others awards and publications that helped us gain more visibility.
We are completing at the moment a hotel in Barcelona as well as two gastronomic spaces in Morocco and South Korea. We are very excited about these opportunities.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t participate in the award ceremony due to a work trip, but we know we would have loved it.