February 15, 2021

Barcelona Restaurant by Llamazares Pomés Arquitectura Pays Homage to Flash Flash 50 Years Later

Croma by Flash recreates the hues of a Kodak film roll box with shades of grey and golden yellows. Photography by José Hevia. 

Can a contemporary reimagining of the storied Flash Flash restaurant in Barcelona, designed by architects Federico Correa and Alfonso Milá in 1971, make a statement 50 years later? The answer to this question is a resounding yes, according to the team at Llamazares Pomés Arquitectura, who designed the city’s new Croma by Flash. Though Croma by Flash is heavily inspired by Correa-Milá’s design, it stands alone, marrying contemporary aesthetics with vintage accents, including Leopoldo Pomés’ recognizable “Flash” girl images.

The evolution of photographs—from flash to film to print—informs the design of the entire space. Yellow and grey hues, similar to those seen on a Kodak film roll box, catch the eye in all directions. “Although Flash Flash was considered daring in its use of black and white, ignoring even shades of grey, with Croma by Flash, it is precisely the shades of grey that become the focal point, together with the yellow color,” says Iván Pomés Leiz, cofounder of the firm. “As an homage to the 60s, the bathroom features a typical chromatic range characteristic of the era: violet, green, orange, red and greyish-blue.” 

The irregular proportions of the building’s structure on Barcelona’s Avendia Diagonal, such as its excessively high ceilings, led the team to posit inventive solutions. They used geometry and lighting to warm the space, installing seven roof-lights that divide the dining area and lower the ceiling height while emitting a warm orange glow, similar to that seen in photography developing rooms. Each roof-light also features a combination of mirrors, enlivening the backlit figures within them, which seem to jump into action to capture a shot. But the real showstopper is the movement of light. Nearly every surface features a white gloss finish, from the walnut wood bar counter to the stainless steel rings on the facade, enabling light to reflect in infinite ways and, ultimately, create a new experience for diners every time they visit. 

Despite the use of the same iconic flash photographer image, Croma by Flash is neither a copy, nor a clone of the original but a new restaurant entirely. Photography by José Hevia. 
The space features materials with shiny finishes: glass, laminates, stainless steel, lacquered and varnished wood to reflect the light. Photography by José Hevia. 
A celebration of the Pop colors of the late 1960s, the violet laminate of the bathroom reigns over the entire space. Inside the bathroom door, the “photography gallery” reveals an original image of the “Flash” girl shown without its characteristic graphic treatment. Photography by José Hevia. 
The image of the Flash photographer is reflected like a kaleidoscope within the roof-lights given the multiple refections of the mirror cladding. Photography by José Hevia. 
Each zone in the restaurant features white banquette perimeter seating that allows for different groupings of tables, creating a flexible environment for diners. Photography by José Hevia. 
Except for the walls and the flooring all the materials used have a white gloss finish, including the walnut wood of the bar counter. Photography by José Hevia. 
The classic red light fittings “M68” designed by Miguel Milá and produced by Santa&Cole positioned over the only fixed table in the restaurant. Photography by José Hevia. 
The restaurant is divided into three zones: “The terrace,” the dining area, and the bar. To draw visual attention, the farthest area from the front window has been raised on a dais, forming the terrace. Photography by José Hevia. 
Framed by stainless steel rings that recreate the original Flash Flash frontage, the facade features a frieze that acts as an over-scaled ad facing towards Av. Diagonal. Photography by José Hevia. 

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