‘We started by looking at the tradition of canteens in rural areas of Galicia,’ de Santiago explains. ‘They often have one place with everything for villagers – bar, restaurant, post office and grocery store – in one space, divided by walls. We used this idea, which explains the separating wall between the cafeteria and the store section.’ The canteen mixes the neutral tone of oak wood with bright bursts of colour in tiles on walls. The focal point is the dining tables, which have tree-like branching growing from them. ‘In Galicia and the rest of Spain, during holidays we put long tables under trees and have gatherings there,’ de Santiago says. ‘We want people in the canteen to feel like they are protected by the trees and are part of a community. That’s why we have two long tables, so they can share a meal and experience; instead of being individuals, they are part of a celebration.’ The tree-like formations were first made of an aluminum structure, then covered with un-stained oak wood. The store shelves are made of oak with a matte finish. The colourful tiles were inspired by a political debate in Galicia, which de Santiago calls the ‘ugliness movement.’ ‘People have been spontaneously and often incorrectly using spare tiles to put on the façades of homes in rural Galicia,’ he says. ‘Nowadays, this has been prohibited by most municipal corporations, as a way to battle the so called “ugliness” movement. Estudio Nômada wants to introduce the debate that “ugliness” does not reside on the material itself but in the manner in which it is used.’