Roadside restaurant culture reimagined

Architecture practice langarita-navarro plays with the function of roadside restaurants its recently completed project ‘Lolita’. Situated in La Almunia de Doña Dodina, the public facility takes a prime position between the commercial routes of Madrid-Barcelona and Valencia-Bilbao.

langarita-navarro attempt to tackle potential issues in the roadside restaurant market, arguing: “In recent years, their structures have evolved in order to offer services for large-format events without this having involved anything more than a change in scale.”

In response, the firm has completed a truly flexible restaurant complex, able to transform into an appropriate venue for celebratory events, a student study centre, a cosy coffee shop or a space for haulage drivers to get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Addressing this diverse cross-section of the market demands a structure capable of managing a programme subject to constant reorganisation, redefining the roadside restaurant into a versatile infrastructure component.

The continuous open-plan space is punctuated with an irregular geometry of external patios, lit and furnished in a manner that can accommodate a huge variety of demands. Internally, the restaurant is characterised by a patterned/semi-perforated concrete slab and by the wood, glass and polycarbonate of the walls.

The façade is a variable-section double strip that establishes a dynamic and variable relationship with the exterior space, facilitating the full view of the surrounding landscape while in the interior creating a complex play of reflections and transparencies. Large blank surfaces on the exterior of the property afford the opportunity for road signage.

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