Ombu, designed by Dissenyados Arquitectura, is located in Plaza de la Reina, near to the Born neighbourhood in the historic and tourist centre of Palma de Mallorca.
This restaurant is inspired by the natural environment and especially by a tree (Ombu) that for many years has hosted and provided shade for residents and tourists. Dissenyados Arquitectura turned this site into a square, creating a route where the customer can get to know different parts of the square.
Entering on the ground floor, the space is organised by situating the bar on the side, in the form of a bank that zigzags up to the kiosk. This kiosk, with its overhanging and aged copper roof, contains the open kitchen. Depending on one’s vantage point, it is slightly sunken. The kitchen team are in sight, and the cooking ‘show’ is performed and enjoyed around the room.
A difference in level separates this area from the hall. Here, there are some typical park benches, for which Benisalem and Mares Stone were used – these two being the typical stones of the island. The gazebo area is determined only by the roof, and serves as a link between the two areas of the restaurant.
The ceiling is formed by the branches of this tree. Just like the real one, it provides shelter to customers. These branches are made of COR-TEN weathering steel and contain lighting creating ambient lighting on the ceiling, and diffusing light onto the floor and walls giving a very cosy environment.
Finally, the ground is like old cobblestones. The old tram rails passing through the square can still be seen, just as graffiti on the walls is also visible.
There are a further two rooms upstairs along with the toilets. In the largest room the tree reappears made from COR-TEN steel, but this time the branches are featured. The floor is wooden and the walls are stuccoed.
Finally, there is the private ‘Incognit’ room. From the outside, the customer sees a very old and run down metal door, a peephole and only the name of the room, but when allowed to enter, he or she is surprised to find a room decorated luxuriously: for example the table (the architect’s own design) contains crystals with gold leaf.
These two rooms have spectacular views of both the water fountain in Plaza la Reina and of Palma Cathedral.
Images © Nando Esteva