70’s Barcelona is reborn in the Chic & Basic Hotel Ramblas – a project by Lagranja Studio.
Barcelona was not always as sophisticated or as cosmopolitan as it is now. It also has its cheesy past. Recovering it with style was the key to rebirthing of the old aparthotel Gutenberg – now the Chic&Basic Ramblas. Located in the wildest district of the city, Lagranja studio took charge of the interior design. In doing so they converted a large (3,000 square meters), seventies building into a cool, cheap and super-chic hotel to spend the night.
The edifice is typical 1960s Spain – a decade when the country was trying desperately to open itself to the world. Lagranja’s designers explain the idea behind the project: “When the client showed us the old aparthotel, Spanish films of the 60’s and 70’s, immediately came to mind, along with images that spoke of budding tourism.
The lobby sets the scene with a turquoise blue Seat 600, a reception desk is made from scraps of old leather suitcases and a large table shaped in an old Spanish peseta, the former currency. As a counterpoint, Lagranja studio has created series of contemporary armchairs upholstered in bright colors that are mixed with vintage furniture and objects.
In contrast, the library is a neutral space that offers guests French billiards and photography books and design magazines to browse. Once again, the ‘Basic’ Chair, designed by Lagranja, is the star of the space.
The gastrobar ‘El 600 de la Pepi’ is located on the other side of the hall and was created as city a hot spot. It serves one of the best brunches in town, sophisticated gin and tonics and has a cosy terrace with chairs and tables in vibrant colors.
Period photographs served not only as creative inspiration but also turned the halls of the hotel into an exhibitions space on retro Spain. Each room has an image printed on the front door, lending it a theme and name. For example, there is a room named ‘Miniskirt’ and another one ‘Guateque’ – an old word meaning ‘house party’. The hotel’s Graphic design has flowed from the creative hands of Espluga & Associates.
The simple but confident overhaul of the 84 double rooms and 13 apartments has rescued the past with vibrant paints, matched tiles in the bathroom and basic yet sensitively-chosen furniture.
Chic&Basic Hotels began 10 years ago and its spirit is still intact. Hugo Bertrand and Albert Montesinos created a new breed of hotels that is still developing, as the new Chic&Basic Ramblas demonstrates.Chic&Basic Ramblas Passatge de Gutenberg, 7. 08001 Barcelona Tel. 93 302 71 11 www.chicandbasic.com