Culinary forerunners such as Noma have proven the power of an unpretentious dining space in helping visitors to feel at ease and to keep their attention squarely on the food. Nada was given a similar brief by the owners of family-run Chinese restaurant IMood in El Puig, a village 15 km north of Valencia. They wanted a clear, open, modern and unpretentious place where the focus is on the gastronomy. A timeless and durable transformation of a former warehouse – all within a very limited budget.

Although the designers opted for what they call a ‘peaceful’ space, the dialogue between its few materials and elements providing a ‘harmonious contrast’, they were able to go wild in the washrooms. The team led by Borja Hernández and Arcadi Martín created a gradation between blue and violet in the reflection of the white ceramics. The effect spills out in to the calm dining environment through a translucent industrial PVC curtain.

Elsewhere the materials are simple and natural: cement, ceramic and wood. While much of the aesthetic reflects the building’s former industrial life, a truss of cement blocks is a nod to Valencia’s typical Mediterranean architecture.