A Mouth-Watering Tile Banquet at Little Spain

Little Spain

At Porcelain Superstore we think that our loyal customers needed some inspiration in these troubled times: and something to look forward to when we all start travelling and entertaining once more. So we have asked our friends at DiaryofaTileAddict.com for some uplifting tile-related stories to keep all our spirits up.

Like us, Tile Addict is passionate about tiles, and, also like us, are never happier that when great tiles provide the backdrop for great food. So, the first story Tile Addict has sent our way concerns Mercado Little Spain, a stylish gastronomic project in one of our fellow Coronavirus-afflicted areas; New York City.

Already world famous for their pioneering gastronomy, the Adrià Brothers (think of El Bulli) are also proving global ambassadors for Spain’s tile manufacturers. The Adrià Brothers’ Stateside creation gives star billing to designer ceramics from one of the leading Spanish tile manufacturers; Vives Ceramica.

Located in the Hudson Yards design district of New York, Mercado Little Spain is under the direction of José Andrés, a Spanish chef who works with the Adrià Brothers. This modern and avant-garde gastronomic take on a traditional Spanish market pays homage to the culture and cuisine of Spain in the West Side of Manhattan.

Spread across 3,200 sq. metres, Mercado Little Spain 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, carried out by Capella García Studio, features over fifty different tile designs by Vives, including some of this design-conscious brand’s most emblematic ranges.

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

The Mar restaurant plays with different designs in blue tones to create an environment full of freshness.

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

The Bar Celona cocktail bar features a highly original combination of wood-effect tiles to deliver a sophisticated and calm atmosphere. In La Barra, a classic monochrome combination of black and white tiles creates a timelessly elegant look. As a finishing touch, white wall tiles were even used to cover the columns. This combination now provides a suitable setting with great personality in a zone where Little Spain offers it’s signature tapas selection.

No Spanish eatery would be complete without wine. The designers wished to elevate this area of the project and did so using wall tiles with 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. Strand and its OSB aesthetic occupy a privileged area within the Little Spain project. By combining the different tile aesthetics, the designers achieved a striking and urban design in tune with a city that never sleeps.

The Frutas & Verduras (Fruits & Vegetables) space uses black and white tiles to contrast with the bold greens and coloured fruits; while in the Jamón & Queso (Ham & Cheese) zone, Cherry wall tiles adorn the inner part of the space, while a wooden vintage-style porcelain tile clads the bar. In this zone the reddish tones transmits great energy and provide a highly appropriate hue.

With a design that bring to mind Spain’s classic and original food trucks, the Churros & Bravas section of Little Spain was decorated using different formats of wall tiles 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 Mercado Little Spain is the Spanish Diner. Here the specified tiling was a combination of wood-effect porcelain floor tiles, and a floral patchwork wall tile on the main bar. The latter is cheerful and colourful; perfectly representing the Spanish style.

The area of Little Spain devoted to deserts - Pasteles & Helados – delivers a look that stands out for its clear tones and luminosity.

Here white porcelain wall tiles are combined with more characterful designs. In the bar area and the back walls, these tiles - with their signature ‘marker’ stamp motif – really grab the eye. On the floor, cement-effect tiles are combined with other patterns 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 the studio Lo Siento studio, Little Spain has evolved into a macro urban project that provides a powerful tribute to the brand España. Mercado Little Spain underlines ceramic tiles’ unparalleled versatility when it comes to creating practical yet distinctive interiors, beguiling atmospheres, and truly memorable spaces.