mecanismo designs unique extension of three Michelin starred Martin Berasategui Restaurant in Spain

mecanismo designs unique extension of three Michelin starred Martin Berasategui Restaurant in Spain

Martin Berasategui is a three Michelin starred restaurant based in Lasarte-Oria, next to San Sebastian. The restaurant is named after its owner Martín Berasategui, the Spanish chef with the most Michelin stars in Spain, 10 in all. During the summer of 2018, Madrid-based architectural studio mecanismo received a call from Martín Berasategui Restaurant regarding expanding the restaurant covering a space beside the existing building that they were using as a terrace during the summer.

“According to his innovative and entrepreneur personality and the continuous development that represents Martín, when they called us they were thinking about the possibility of expanding the restaurant covering a space beside the existing building that they were using as a terrace during the summer. The intervention had some strict restrictions. One of the most important was that it must take place during the three winter holiday months when the restaurant was closed. Beautiful views and natural light were the main factors to consider in our proposal. They were important enough to create the project around them. At the same time, we decided to use the existing limits of the site, using a kind of shell-shaped structure as the geometric base of the project. Despite a short time for the project development and its execution, we started a fast process in order to present our client with our design proposal. The idea consisted in building a covering structure in the shape of a shell using a curving grid of one-meter height wooden beams based on a transparent and light glass façade. The process that had begun as a terrace cover was transformed into a complex project. The complex system of prefabrication and assembly has resulted in a space where all the architectural elements serve to emphasize the special geometry. This is more than 120 square meters diaphanous space in which the interior and the exterior merge thanks to the façade permeability. The roof structure is made of fir plywood. It is composed of one meter high beams that form a curved mesh in which each of its points is at a different hight. The shape and the location of each beam from a plan shaped like a shell limited by the site boundaries. It is composed of eleven main longitudinal beams crossed by five more radial beams. All of them form a curved mesh which defines the space. The roof is supported on three points creating a complete diaphanous space under it. The back of the structure is based on a plywood cylinder in which the building installations are placed. Two extreme front points of the roof are supported by wooden columns. The façade wraps the space under the wooden structure. It is formed by three different curved sides located under the extreme beams. The two lateral sides are composed of fixed curved annealed glasses of 3 cm thickness. The front is formed by steel doors that can be opened. That permits opening the entire front and introduce the exterior in the indoor space. Between the existing building and the new structure a new space is created that separates the kitchen from the eating area. It works as an additional space for the storage service of crockery and cutlery. It is visually separated from the dining room by closing wooden slats that still allow the entry of natural light. All of the elements and furniture of this area are made of lacquered wood combined with some pieces made of oak wood. The strict geometry of the structure allows the project to work like a puzzle. All the elements fit in the geometric order and they are integrated into the functionality. The use of complementary natural materials creates a cozy and warm interior joined with the exterior with the transparent façade,” explains mecanismo

  • Location: Lasarte-Oria, San Sebastian, Spain
  • Date completed: 2019
  • Design: mecanismo
  • Authors: Marta Urtasun, Pedro Rica
  • Photos: mecanismo

Small tables known as guéridon

Covering structure in shape of shell
Exterior