Sharing a meal and preparing food together are tactile and intimate acts. In the most humble of shelters as in the most luxurious of residences visitors and guests are invited to share food with the hosts.
Regardless of their culture or wealth humans have always ended their working day by gathering for a meal around a fire, a hearth or a table.
Cooking together is equally timeless. Teaching and learning the skills of food preparation have been not just a tradition and a pleasure, they have also been a necessity. Learning to use the available ingredients, no matter how scarce or abundant, properly and without waste to feed a family or an entire army, or to satisfy a regular flow of clients or guests, does not happen without experience having been shared.
Where exactly are we heading with all this reflection? We are heading to T. in Seville, Spain. T. is a ‘Taller de cocina,’ a culinary workshop. We get the distinct sense that María González and Juanjo López de la Cruz at Studio SOL89, the designers of the space, were inspired and informed by the humble, intimate and ancient acts of preparing and sharing food together.
The team respected the 59 square-metre (635 sq.ft) space and their design solutions echo its history. The workshop is located on Boteros Street that derives its name from the wineskins – animal skins that were used to transport wine – that were manufactured here.
The cast-iron column at the centre of the workshop and the ancient brick walls are part of that history. The entire design concept circles around the column and suggests a temporary solution so that it, too, can at some point be removed or altered just like all of the earlier designs over the many years.
We love the neutral colour scheme and the elegant material palette. Worthy of special note is the table that anchors the gathering circle of chef and students. It was created together with Ignacio Sánchez Martín and Nicholas Chandler and it is made of several kinds of wood including orange, cypress, olive, grevillea, melia and robinia, all gathered from the streets of Seville and many reclaimed after annual pruning or high winds. Tuija Seipell.