Owner of an establishment with more than nine years of existence and armed with an entrepreneurial spirit that was natural to him, the client approached Paulo Merlini Arquitectos with the problems well outlined. He intended to grow the Restaurante Barril in Valongo, Portugal in order to reduce the waiting time of the clients, wanted a space with a strong character that would fit with the existing corporate image of the place and solve the problem of noise that arose whenever the house was full.
Thus, with the problems well defined, the architects began by analyzing the corporate identity of the establishment and quickly concluded that it should be designed so as to be able to transport the client to the somber environment of a wine cellar.
Taking into account the pre-existence of the site and taking advantage of a series of structural constraints, such as pillars and sanitation pipes, they created a concept of arched porticos that reinforce the idea of a winery.
They covered one of the walls with a mirror, taking advantage of the repetition of the arches and thus creating the illusion of a space of great amplitude.
In order to reinforce the sensation of a winery, the architects opted for the use of textured materials and dark colors. These characteristics allowed for a greater spatial expression through the attractive play between light and shadow, but above all helped to solve one of the most common problems in restaurants, the excessive noise caused by the sound of reverberation. To solve this problem, knowing that sound works like a ping-pong ball, they designed a roof made of pine wood slats, in a velvet finish color, 20mm apart from each other, and on the top of these slatted panels they applied acoustic absorption material. With this little trick, they transformed the whole ceiling into a sound absorbing panel, managing to reduce the reverberation noise by over 80 %.
Regarding lighting, the architects have opted for the application of a series of shallow light projectors to the arches, taking advantage of their formal expression and reinforcing their presence in space.
As a complement to indirect lighting, they have designed a series of lamps with a strong visual character, which controlled by means of a rheostat, allow the adjustment of the amount of light required in the space, multiplying the possibilities of its use.
Design and info © Paulo Merlini Arquitectos
Images © Ivo Tavares Studio