Before the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly shifted the nature of social interactions, and hospitality design, Héctor Ruiz-Velázquez, architect and founder of his namesake studio, was at work creating a bar and lounge perfectly positioned for its time. The Alvic Blue Moon Lounge Bar in Madrid, made in partnership with wood panel manufacturer Alvic, enables people to congregate while remaining socially distanced in modular, kaleidoscope-like booths—each separated from the rest by artful wall panels. To create each panel, made from recycled wood, Ruiz-Velázquez drew inspiration from the Japanese art of kirigami, or cut-out paper, culminating in a visual display that beckons guests into a distorted reality. The three easily assembled wall panel modules join together to generate a dance of infinite curves beneath the brick vaulted ceiling.
“We were commissioned to design the bar for the Casa Décor 2020 exhibition this year,” says Ruiz-Velázquez. “We had been inspired by Alvic’s latest material—Luxeplus Indigo Blue wood panels in a gloss finish, with a reflected capacity almost like a mirror.” The resulting space features several visual planes: the blue plane with the geometric wall panels, the central middle plane, and the opposite arches of the corridor. “What most excited us about this project was the creation of a blue box that has the capacity to transport you to a new world—it is like a Pandora’s box of new spaces, expanding the 90-square-meter space to infinity,” he adds. The simple yet visually captivating structure took just five days to build, paving the way for future modular bar concepts made from sustainable materials.