Pepa Díaz, owner of the Pepa Díaz Arquitecta studio
Last April, Andrés Mármol launched a new pastry shop, La Gloria de Andrés Mármol, on calle Pintor Pedro Cano 30, in El Palmar (Murcia). The creator of murciatone (a local adaptation of panettone), winner of the Best Meatloaf 2016 and an indisputable reference in chocolate, had long thought about these new premises, which include a terrace with space for 10 or 11 tables. The works, he explains, “began in the midst of the pandemic, nine months ago” and on the result, he says that: “people have liked it a lot, I have not stopped being congratulated”.
The person in charge of the interior design is Pepa Díaz Arquitecta, a studio recently nominated in the prestigious London International Creative Competition.
1.- Is interior design a key element of ice cream parlours? Can it be used to bring in new customers?
In this case, architecture is a complementary element. I think the connection between the product offered on the premises and the design of the premises is important - to my understanding mutual enrichment must exist. But in the end if the product fails, the customer is not retained, he or she may be attracted once or twice by a powerful design, but will not return if the product is not of high quality.
Of course, it is a powerful hook for customers - the architecture acquires dimensions and connotations that have the ability to immediately transform the moment.
2.- What are the secrets to making the design of a premises work?
From my point of view, the keys to this are so numerous and so diverse. In the end, it is about generating a perfect feeling for those who visit the premises. Transforming without overwhelming, it is an intricate process, there is no correlation of guidelines when coming up with a design that works.
3.- What are the current trends in pastry shop design? Luxury? Practicality? Modern, rustic or urban premises?
We are at a stage in history that transcends architectural styles, programmed solutions, patterns and standards to follow. There are no guidelines, for me the key is that the space achieves an atmosphere in accordance with the philosophy, in this case, of the premises and the people directing it.
I don't like to talk about trends, the identity of an establishment goes further than that. The idea is to detect the essence of the work and the product offered, the values of those responsible for it, and to evoke all this.
Success story: : La Gloria de Andrés Mármol
In this project, priority was given to the work dynamics set by Andrés Mármol, on this point there was little to do, he was very rigorous in the way he wanted his premises to function, and architecturally it was not possible to work much more on the layout. In addition, the deadlines were very tight. This resulted in a contemporary design of natural materials because of their connotations of clarity that link to what we eat and smell when we are on the premises, various stone and wooden features geometrically composed which are in the shapes, textures and treatments of their products. The presence of these natural materials was important due to it being in line with the quality - which I know first-hand - of the products that Andrés always offers: organic chocolates, slowly and naturally fermented products, locally-grown Murcian produce, etc.
Light, in terms of both quantity and colour, is key to the functioning of the premises, more concentrated in the table area, more homogeneous in the display area, higher quality for the finished product, whiter in the kitchen... Work was carried out on the connection with the outside; the sound within the space, always trying to ensure overall harmony.
"The goal is always to try to get everything to vibrate in harmony"
Andrés and I had a connection from the day we met through an event that I organised, gAstrogAllo 2.0, and in which I was looking for a chocolate master. I contacted him to organise something around it, he asked to meet up because his father was a builder and had always felt respect and admiration for my profession. The day we met we clicked and became friends, that was seven years ago, since then we have been exchanging knowledge and sharing moments of time throughout these years. And in his search for premises - we will have gone through at least six or seven premises - he has always counted on me. In all these exchanges and during other visits and time spent together, he has conveyed his craft to me and how it is rooted in him.
My work at La Gloria de Andrés Mármol was technical and to do with design. In addition to the premises, I chose the furniture, I collaborated on the choice of clothing for the staff to try to establish a connection between all the parts and offer an environment where the product takes the leading role. The goal is always to try to get everything to vibrate in harmony.
The project had to be carried out in too short a time, we started in September. The first months were hard, it was like an explosion because there was almost no time to think and he needed the new premises. He did not have a design idea, he had needs, he was looking for contemporaneity, dynamism in the work. The immediate decision was to present a white, aseptic façade, which would allow the interior to take the limelight.