Ana Cue, founder of Ana Cue Estudio
Madrid-born Ana Cue has always had a special passion for the arts. She studied Architecture and moved to Barcelona to work in two national and international reference studios. Later, she decided to return to Madrid and set up her own architecture and interior design studio, highly specialized in the hospitality and residential sectors. One of his latest projects, which he has worked on together with Noray Estudio, is Manosanta, a gastronomic space that seeks to give the churro a more cosmopolitan image, with which the new generations feel identified.
1.- Is interior design a fundamental element in a churro / chocolate shop? Can it be a hook to attract new customers?
Space is one of the fundamental keys in this type of business. In this case, it is essential that the idea of the project is integrated with the place where it is located, where the senses play a major role, from the sight, where the first thing we see when entering the premises is the churro maker doing his work, to the smell with that smell of churro that invades you when you enter, through the touch that is represented in the churro dough that we have emulated on walls and floor. Indeed, it is a great hook to attract customers, since in this sense it has been a new business where we have managed to recover such a traditional product in Madrid as the churro and give it a more modern and avant-garde look, always enhancing the craftsmanship with which the product is created.
2.- What are the keys for the design of a place to work?
I think that the key to making the design work is to understand correctly for what and for whom the business is going to be displayed. Once the concept is understood, you have to analyze the whole set-up for both the seller and the client, so that both can feel comfortable and offer a good service. Finally, in our case we always try to give all this a singularity that makes you feel things and somehow do our bit to offer a different experience that generates an impact on the end customer.
3.- What are the current trends in the design of chocolate establishments? Luxury? Functionality? Modern, rustic, urban?
We have been seeing for some time now how cafés and restaurants are renovating their spaces, giving them a more modern and cozy touch. Functionality has always been an essential aspect for any establishment; therefore, I think that for each establishment we try to find the space that best suits the business idea that the owners have.
Success story: Manosanta
The Manosanta project has consisted of transferring to a space an innovative concept that has been applied to a traditional product such as the churro, where you can enjoy it in a pleasant, cozy and unique place in its guild.
I have a good relationship with the founding team of the business and since we started discussing the project around April 2021, when they told us the idea they had and were looking for premises, we had a very good connection in terms of what we thought should be projected. From then on, once they found the premises, we already had the concept pretty much defined, and we only had to adapt all the technical and aesthetic needs to the space.
Teamwork with Noray Estudio
We have a great relationship with Noray Estudio, we have done some projects together. The truth is that we understand each other very well. Besides, Adrián and Nacho have been good friends for many years. Manosanta has been a teamwork where both of us have participated in the whole technical and creative process.
As we usually do in this type of projects with a certain innovative character, it has been a work from start to finish very close to the client's hand. From the initial look and feel, to the transfer of that brand identity to the final space, without forgetting everything necessary to offer an optimal service. We had to fit very well all the necessary machinery for the churros and apply the corresponding regulations to the space in order to optimize and achieve the best functionality of the premises. It has been an integral reform and a total interior design project, where the tables, stools and kitchenware have a unique line.
The churro, the protagonist of the place
The project is a neutral space where the shell is formed by the churro dough, light colored, tactile and imperfect. The space is broken with a pure stainless-steel element in the center. In addition, we play with a very particular route from the access, where the churrero appears wrapped in a glass box as an artisan workshop of the product. The customer begins to walk through this steel bar and finds the menu on a mirror where he places his order and at the same bar ends up picking it up to enjoy it at the back tables or take away.
The bathroom, which is located at the end of the space, continues to relate to the route through the restaurant, which becomes a chocolate shell.
It is a conceptual transfer of the typical churro stand to an updated and design local.
Being such a longitudinal local, we proposed to put a panel of mirrors at the end to give more depth to the space and get that visual game.