Posted by: illustrarch
Project: Espazio Oteiza
Location: Monte Igueldo, Donostia, San Sebastián (Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea, 56, 20008
Authors: Marta Urtasun and Pedro Rica
Project date: 2017
Completion date: 2017
Area (m2): 235
Client: Pedro Subijana
Architecture project: mecanismo
Lighting project: mecanismo
Air conditioning / heating control: Orizki
Mecansimo results from the combination of a profound interest in materials and a careful
execution of ideas, all this developed with a clear obsession for investigation and innovation of
The materialization of this ideas resulted to create the architectural studio based in Madrid, and
founded in 2012 by Marta Urtasun and Pedro Rica. Specialized in the development and
execution of projects, systems and products related to design and architecture. Our work
comprehends the complete creative process, from the conceptual idea, to the detailed design.
The Akelarre restaurant has turned into a classic of Basque cuisine. With three Michelin stars,
this restaurant is located on the slopes of Monte Igueldo and is led by chef Pedro Subijana. This
place has more than 40 years of history coexisting with the tradition and atmosphere of the
surroundings (the context, and with the obsession for innovation that defined the essence and
natural character of Akelarre).
Historically the restaurant features two dining areas; the first floor is the main dining room and
the second floor offers event space for meetings, celebrations etc.
In 2017, we had the opportunity to design and build the hotel of the same name, which sits
alongside the Akelarre restaurant; entailing the essence of the restaurant. The hotel, had to
transmit Akelarre’s natural character, therefore we opted to create a warm design, using natural
materials that would transform the gastronomic experience to a complete 5-star accommodation.
The design seamlessly connects the Akelarre restaurant and hotel with the restaurants second
floor, known as Espazio Oteiza named after Jorge, Pedro Subijana’s close friend, who surprised
him with a sculpture he settled in this space.
One year after completing the hotel, Pedro Subijana told us to renovate the restaurant by
seamlessly connecting the restaurant with the common areas of the hotel producing a diaphanous
space, and the main dining area.
The restaurant combines two different ambiances; the first space is a casual dining restaurant
that serves moderately priced cocktails and snacks. And a second dining room which offers a
more upscale atmosphere and formal service.
We approached this project design, by ultimately integrating and differentiating both areas. As
a result, we brought into existence a sober, warm and luminous space, opting for natural
As for the execution system we focused on the design and production of elements and installed
prefabricated elements in the space. We also designed a long booth seating as an accent element
of the interior dining room area.
The upper section of the dining room wall features a lacquered panelling of three-dimensional
triangled peaks, the panel design has allowed each peak to set its own lighting. The part of the
wall below, is made of oak wood which gives the impression of a boiserie.
The booth seating layout optimized the space by firstly separating the dining rooms as well as
serving as the support surface to the overhead metal arched lamps that provide lighting to both
In the dining room, we also redesigned the ceiling by installing oak slates each roughly 5cm apart
from each other.
The upper space of the snack bar is directly connected to the common areas of the hotel. We have
considered this space as a more dynamic area, taking into account the same criteria and elements
to solve it.
In order to emphasize the casual atmosphere of the bar, we designed seven low circular tables.
All tables had a similar design yet different details. The base of each would differ from the others
being, either conical or cylinder shaped, made by brown marble (emperador). The cylinder
shaped structure, is from lacquered steel.
In terms of lighting, we designed two floor lamps, similar to the lamps attached to the long booth
seating, using arched metal tubes from which glass balls hang.
The lighting of the space has been completed by placing multiple lamps on the tables which
remind small lanterns.
Together with the lighting, the tables, and the long seating booth we also designed four small
tables known as guéridon that served as support to the staff. All of them with a circular top made
of brown emperador marble and oak details. This ‘trolley service’ is used to hold all cooking items
or simply used for support.
In this way, both spaces are completely integrated to the same concept seamlessly creating a
warm atmosphere that relates Espazio Oteiza to the hotel as well as differentiating the spaces by
the image and lighting itself used in both.