Inside Chef Sergio Perez’s ideal gastronomic space, Spanish-based architect Hector Fernandez Elorza’s low-budget design literally shines on visitors as they enter the Chefslab flagship store in Madrid. Designed to host exclusive events and cooking workshops, Elorza’s focus on minimal interventions to achieve maximum impact has created a unique experience for visitors and diners. Using only stainless steel, black paint, and reflective insulation, the main activity space is distinguished by a glittering, silver open-plan room, while the “servant zones” containing the kitchen, laboratories and storage are finished in black paint, offering a clearly contrasting experience of zones and spaces.
In order to accommodate for the myriad of events that Chefslab expects to host, the gastronomic space is composed of a series of movable panels allowing the areas to be divided according to the specific function of each event. On the east end of the room, a tubular shelf displaying Sergio’s cooking collections doubles as a coat rack for guests, while on the opposite wall, an impressive extractor hood hovers over stainless steel sheets, where a charcoal oven jasper is designed to fit. The final innovative detail at Chefslab is the installation of a single sink placed in the servant area, closing the divide between the chef and the diner. As a precursor for both eating and cooking, the art of hand washing becomes a unifying concept — the isolated, sinking pot-shaped sink seems to remind visitors that eating and cooking are, afterall, two sides of the same umbrella. At Chefslab, the clash of seemingly contrasting colors and concepts reveals a refined gastronomic definition.
Photography: Montse Zamorano