Valencia, Spain – Built in the early 20th century in an Art Nouveau style specific to Valencia in Spain, the city’s Mercado Central is one of the largest marketplaces in Europe. The historical 8,000-sq-m building – with a distinctive façade and unique shape – inspired Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse of local studio Masquespacio as they designed the first location for pizzeria Piur.
After familiarizing themselves with Piur’s brand strategy, Hernández Palacios and Penasse realized that they could align the hospitality company’s foremost values – offering fresh products and an honest ethos to diners – with Valencia’s history to weave a compelling concept perfect for introducing Piur to the city. Since the restaurant’s founders both hail from Valencia, taking inspiration from Mercado Central meant that Masquespacio could effectively hint at Piur’s origin story while also making the restaurant attractive to visitors seeking a localized dining experience.
Bespoke lighting fixtures create personalized corners within the 500-sq-m restaurant, providing diners with intimate spaces to share meals with companions. Alongside Sancal chairs upholstered in brown or tomato-red, warm natural hues – a nod to earthly beauty being the main tenet of the Art Nouveau movement – reappear in such materials as wood and terracotta tiles.
For Masquespacio, the relevancy of referencing Mercado Central goes beyond just the design of Piur. Since the marketplace is ‘the best place for those in search of high-quality natural products’ in Valencia, says a spokesperson for the studio, its influence speaks to the quality of the restaurant’s menu.