Restaurant La Mal Dita, Barcelona

A tiny gem

A tiny gem

In the heart of the stylish metropolis of Barcelona , the creators of the "La Mal Dita" restaurant-café concept had only 65 m2 to work with. For everything. The result is impressive: a small, modern restaurant that embraces its city with great flourish.


LoCa Studio


Pol Viladoms


Barcelona, Spain

When space is limited …

… the ideas need to be good. With this philosophy, the architects at LoCa Studio set out to realise a gastronomic concept on the Carrer de la Marina – one of Barcelona’s main thoroughfares, halfway between the beach and the Sagrada Familia. The small property on a street corner measured only 65 m2; this space had to house not only the restaurant but also the kitchen and toilets. So what did the planners do, being mindful of the climatic conditions of the Catalan metropolis? They opened it out. One of the main tricks was to open up the façades with large guillotine windows, which can be fully swivelled and raised. Below this, they installed double-width wooden seats, which can also be divided centrally using flexible separators – into an indoor and an outdoor seating area. This creates (seating) space and a more spacious feel.

Restaurant LaMalDita, Barcelona
Window facing the street: the extra-wide window ledges can be used as seats on both sides (photo: Pol Viladoms)

Outdoors or right in the middle?

To save more space and at the same time create a more sociable ambience, the planners arranged the kitchen, servery and entrance along one axis, making everything immediately recognisable and comprehensible. The small, open kitchen has the look of a market stand, while the bar also serves as furniture for the dining area. There are no barriers between patrons and staff, so the latter are more likely to be seen as hosts; in the small space they are close without being intrusive. In this way, La Mal Dita also defies conventional categorisation. Is it a restaurant, a café, a bar or a meeting place for old acquaintances and strangers? Probably a bit of everything – a place where people can connect in a gastronomic, social and aesthetic experiment.

Restaurant LaMalDita, Barcelona
What’s for the staff; what’s for the guests? Boundaries are intentionally broken down here (photo: Pol Viladoms)

Simple yet effective

The modern interior also contributes to the collaborative atmosphere, which omits a great deal, but also offers something surprising. For example, the ceiling with an openly visible cellulose insulation layer, from which unadorned fluorescent light tubes hang, the industrial concrete floors and partially exposed concrete beams. The light-wood furniture and selected walls with Castilian tiles create a warm, friendly contrast to these austere features, as do the brightly coloured accents of furniture or dividing walls. A selection of Gira switches and socket outlets is also integrated into this wholly contemporary style – with a combination of the Gira Studio surface-mounted design line in black glass and the original Gira E2 design in black matt. They complete La Mal Dita, making it a tiny gem that will conquer Barcelona in no time.

Restaurant LaMalDita, Barcelona
Come inside, look out: at La Mal Dita, the dining area and pavement become a stage (photo: Photo: Pol Viladoms)

Further Architecture References:

Send us
an inquiry

Send us an email. We will answer you as soon as possible.

Send e-mail

call us

We're happy to help.

+49 2195 602-8765

Working days 8:00 – 16:00 Uhr