Zuppa is a minimal space located in Madrid, Spain, designed by PLANTEA. The objective of the commission was to rehabilitate the commercial premises belonging to a well-kept building on Calle Atocha in Madrid. Previously occupied by an Indian restaurant, its original facade had been greatly transformed. The new owners wanted to implement a concept of ‘street food’ based on homemade soups, mainly to take away, but with space to stay on the premises informally.

It began with the recovery of the façade with its original materials and dimensions, completing the gaps with bespoke pivoting doors, made with lacquered iron frames, plywood, glass and marble handles. Opening the entire gap, they allow the best relationship with the street. Inside, a continuous atmosphere is proposed, with materials plastered in a light and warm tone, which retain their own personality. Micro-cement, plywood boards and chipboard panels make up the walls, floors and ceilings.

The light from the outside nuances and envelops them in such a way that the limits between one and the other blur, and the space is expanded to the maximum. In this ‘clear’ container are located the seats and tables, and at the bottom the counter closing the area for preparation and storage. Much of the furniture and lighting was specifically designed for this project. A large communal table with supports in three legs in solid oak and finished in sanded steel sheet was drawn and built.

It occupies the center of the living area, and leaves the circulation between the two doors always in order. On its sides, and next to the doors, two fixed benches, lacquered iron sheet tables, and stools also designed and manufactured in solid oak. In front of the counter, high tables in lacquered iron and gray Ruivina marble top, with high stools of the same structure and oak veneer seat. The counter is made of these same materials, with a plywood board front that connects it to the wall to which it is attached.

All these elements ‘float’ on the walls of the container, with materials and colors that stand out in front of it. The lighting collaborates in this game, without interrupting it with its presence. Small pendant lamps in lacquered iron on the high tables and the counter, series of spotlights on the low tables and a delicate linear lamp on the communal table, bathe and qualify the work and meeting plans, leaving the rest in privacy. The character of the place is urban and abstract, the elements are geometric and precise. In balance with this, the materials that are touched are kind and solid, always pleasant.

Photography by Pablo Gómez-Ogando