Spanish tile manufacturer Vives Cerámica has played a key role in the creation of Mercado Little Spain, a stylish gastronomic project in New York City.

In the Hudson Yards design district of New York, José Andrés, a Spanish chef based in the USA, together with the well-known Adriá Brothers, have launched a striking new gastronomic project: Mercado Little Spain. This is a modern version of the traditional Spanish market, which pays homage to the culture and cuisine of Spain located in the West Side of Manhattan.

Spread across 3,200 square metres, it is divided into different restaurants and styled spaces that not only offer the full flavours of Spain, but a distinctly Spanish design and decoration.

The project was carried out by Capella Garcia Studio. It features over fifty different tile designs by Vives Cerámica, including some of the brand’s most emblematic ranges.

Each of the distinct spaces that make up this innovative project has a unique ambience, something that drew the design studio to Vives’ eclectic product portfolio.

The Mar restaurant plays with different designs in blue tones to create an environment full of freshness. Yugo Cielo vintage porcelain wood-effect tiles are artfully combined with 250 by 750mm Laterza Azul and Nevers Azul wall tiles in the work area, while Orsa Avellana porcelain tiles are used in the appealing dining area.

Leña Restaurant, one of the two restaurants at Little Spain, was designed using the World Woods porcelain tile series, combining the rhombus format with 192 by 1,193mm rectangles to create an original ceramic pattern for the central space. For the kitchen, a classic 100 by 200mm Morthier Natural bevelled design, and the Nordland ceramic wood-effect range, were selected.

The Bar Celona cocktail bar features a highly original combination of Vives’ ceramic woods, generating a sophisticated and calm atmosphere. Gamma Miel tiles were used on the floor. They were paired with Milford Oro wall tiles from the Halsa series, and Dion Blanco porcelain tiles from the Efeso range.

In La Barra, a classic monochrome combination of black and white creates a timelessly elegant look, with 200 by 500mm Rimini wall tiles used in a dotted pattern alongside 320 by 990mm Manger tiles. The finishing touch is provided by Raspail Blanco wall tiles that were used to cover the columns. This combination now provides a suitable setting with great personality in a zone where Little Spain offers its signature tapas selection.

No Spanish eatery would be complete without Spanish wine. The designers wanted to elevate this area of the project and did so using Vives’ Rivoli wall tile range. They specified Raspail Blanco and Raspail Cereza designs in a timeless 100 by 200mm format. These tiles feature intricate designs in different reliefs, delivering traditional beauty with a modern twist.

The Bocatas & Empanadas zone features one of Vives most iconic ranges, Strand. This design was inspired by OSB (oriented strand board), a basic construction material formed from recycled wood shavings. This wood-effect porcelain tile range has a matt finish and comes in two formats: 593 by 593mm and 593 by 1,193mm; both rectified.

Strand-R in 593 by 593mm is available in six different neutral tones (Natural, White, Grey, Hazelnut, Cement, and Blue), while the 593 by 1,193mm format is offered in Natural. Strand and its OSB aesthetic occupy a privileged area within the Little Spain project. By combining the different designs of Seriaki-R Natural Rojo and Nenets-R Natural Rojo, the designers achieved a striking and urban design, in tune with a city that never sleeps.

One of Vives’ most recognisable designs – the 200 by 200mm Variette Sombra porcelain tile from the Vodevil series – covers the Frutas & Verduras (Fruits & Vegetables) space. This tile, with its black and white lines, immediately attracts attention both in the bar and in the work area.

In the Jamón & Queso (Ham & Cheese) zone, 100 by 200mm small format Tasty Cherry wall tiles adorn the inner part of the space, while the bar features Yugo Volcan; a wooden vintage-style porcelain tile. In this zone the reddish tones transmit great energy and provide a highly appropriate hue.

With a design that brings to mind Spain’s classic and original food trucks, the Churros & Bravas section of Little Spain was decorated using Etnia Blanco wall tiles in different formats (100 by 200mm, 130 by 130mm, and 200 by 200mm) to provide a bold contrast to the red metal that was used to cover the area’s exterior surfaces.

One of the central areas of the Little Spain Market is the Spanish Diner. Here, the specified tiling was a combination of World Woods porcelain floor tiles, and a floral patchwork wall tile, appropriately called Patchwork-12, on the main bar. The latter is a cheerful and colourful tile that perfectly represents the Spanish style. This space also features Etnia Blanco wall tiles, in the same combination of formats (100 by 200mm, 130 by 130mm, and 200 by 200mm).

The area of Little Spain devoted to deserts – Pasteles & Helados – delivers a look that stands out for its clear tones and luminosity. Efeso Blanco porcelain tiles are combined with Tielebe porcelain tiles from the Maori series. This design was used in the bar area and the back walls with its signature “marker” stamp. On the floor, Amalfi Beige, Amalfi Grafito, and Cavour Cemento porcelain tiles are combined to create original symmetrical designs that have been used to separate the different areas.

With additional contributions from graphic designer, Mariscal; muralist, Sergio Mora; and Lo Siento studio, Little Spain has evolved into a macro urban project that provides a powerful tribute to the brand España.

The project dramatically underlines the potential of ceramic tiles in the creation of distinctive interiors, beguiling atmospheres, and strong brand identity; while also demonstrating Vives Ceramica’s credentials – something that earned the confidence of the architectural studio and project manager, as well as Chef José Andrés and the Adriá Brothers.

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