“Our challenge was to create an experience in accordance with the spirit and personality of Baovan,” explain the designers at Clap Studio. The Valencia-based design studio used a duality of colours and exclusive light fixtures to create an interior that feels like a secluded, yet playful, indoor paradise.
After the initial success of Baovan, the first bao restaurant as a delivery-only service in Valencia in Spain, its creators began to dream bigger. For their first brick-and-mortar location, Baovan’s owners’ passion for surfing served as the perfect inspiration for Clap Studio, which was commissioned to design the space.
Guided by simplicity, elegance and playfulness, Clap Studio wanted to create a memorable experience for diners. The use of contrasting colours throughout the space divides the restaurant into three distinct sections, each making reference to the owners’ surfing adventures.
The modernist building in which Baovan is located has a narrow floor plan and no natural light. Instead of fighting these architectural qualities, Clap Studio saw them as an opportunity to create an immersive dining experience.
Immediately upon stepping onto the porch, Clap Studio’s design transports diners to a lush, green forest. Green painted walls and floor-to-ceiling fringe mimic the feeling of dense forest vegetation and give visitors a taste of the adventure they are about to embark on upon entering the space.
The enchanting chromatic hues transition from forest green to warm sunset oranges, pulling visitors further into the space and deeper into the experience. Though much of the interior makes reference to exotic travel, the entry’s bright, glowing hallway pays homage to the experience of being on a secluded local beach.
Further in the space, deep blue tiles are laid in a wavy pattern that takes visitors in and out of the water. The colours are illuminated by a custom lighting installation by Vitamin Studio. In a half-moon shape, the custom light cycles through the colours of the sunset — reflecting the duration of the dinner service happening that takes place below it.
Floating above diners enjoying their meals is a covering of clouds that heightens the ambience of the restaurant. As light reflects off of this blanket of clouds, it gives the space a rhythmic movement. This magical effect further enhances the playfulness of the restaurant interior.
Baovan is completed by a private dining area tucked away at the end of the floorplan. Seating up to ten people, this section was designed by Clap Studio to recreate the whimsical delight of a moonlit, al fresco dinner indoors.
Though the design is focused primarily on creating an immersive, environmental oasis, Clap Studio also incorporated crescent motifs throughout the entire space, a formal reference to the bao buns that bring people through the doors. The rounded shape of the window design and custom, curved Baovan chairs remind everyone that they are in for a treat — for their tastebuds as well as for their eyes.
Through a duality of colours and texture, this immersive interior creates an enchanting atmosphere reflective of the owner’s adventurous spirit.