A Choreographed Chaos: Las Flores’ Bold and Eclectic Design Offers a Unique Dining Experience
Walking along 9th Avenue, Uptown Bonifacio in BGC, Taguig, it’s hard not to spot the new Las Flores store which opened in August 2022. Located at the Uptown Ritz Residence, the Spanish tapas bar stands out among its surrounding restaurants for its wide al fresco seating and graffiti wall at the storefront. Upon entering, diners are welcomed by an eclectic interior, a feast for every food and design enthusiast.
Headroom, a Manila-based architectural firm, was in charge of designing the Las Flores stores spread across the metro. According to the team, triggering emotions is their inspiration when designing a Las Flores restaurant. “It’s an exploration of diverging themes, of mixing different design elements,” Headroom shared with BluPrint.
The team received a simple brief from the client, which was to create a space for a unique dining experience. The firm has been working with the Bistro Group, the company that owns Las Flores, over the years. Their experience working with the client made them realize that their best works come from the balance between 2 things. The efficiency in the use of space and the aesthetics highlighting the dining experience elaborating the restaurant operations at the forefront.
Las Flores can be defined as bold and eclectic. Hence, the design of its stores is characterized by the same definition. Headroom likes to throw anything they find under the sun into the place. This location is real sense of playfulness and bold gestures. It is an art of maximalism, a mix and match of high and low end pieces. You will see a custom-made tasseled floor lamp by Ma Nu beside a Knixnault pendant lamp from IKEA. For the designers, however, this is choreographed chaos. The team wanted the design to be an experience like the food and the service Las Flores offers.
One of the highlights of the design is the Machuca baldoza floor, practical wood tile planks over a terrazzo Las Flores Logo emblem, which is eye-candy for eclectic connoisseurs. The designers also used a lot of color variations to represent the boldness of the restaurant. The room is pattern-heavy, as well, after the team put up wallpaper from wall to ceiling. They had no problem with mixing and matching. The team simply threw everything in and decided which combinations were tasteful.
What makes this location unique from other Las Flores is that the designers took the design to the extremes. “We had full patterned wallpaper from dining to the toilet. Almost no bare painted portion of the ceiling,” shared Headroom.
Moreover, the challenge for this project was that it had a small store frontage. The designers had to make sure the store didn’t look small at first glance. “The approach was to give an illusion of space. We sought approval for wide alfresco seatings. With the extended seats, we were able to give an impression of a wide-looking storefront,” said Headroom.
Another element added to make the store appear bigger is the graffiti wall on the utility room beside the space which stretched the facade a bit more. This detail made the restaurant look as open and big as other restaurants beside it.
The team also created a bar that opens directly outside with its counter and bar stools, which is similar to what the team did with the Greenbelt branch. Patrons call this feature “The Tindahan” (The Store) which Headroom finds endearing.
Consistency is crucial when designing a restaurant with multiple branches. This year, Las Flores has expanded to additional five new stores. “With each Las Flores branch, we tried to keep a consistent feel by using some key design elements. This is to help the customer recall the Las Flores nostalgia every visit. But at the same time, we are pushing for a slow design evolution by changing up a few elements at a time. This keeps each branch familiar to a certain degree, but also exciting and unexpected with each first visit,” Headroom explained.
Photos by Ed Simon