LEKA is an open source restaurant locally manufactured in the 22@ Poblenou district of Barcelona, developed and fabricated by IAAC FAB Lab Barcelona in collaboration with a network of local dealers and workshops. The project is conceived as an open source platform, where all the knowledge involved (from the design to the recipes, the nutrition tips etc.) is shared and available on the restaurant’s web site.
The design has been developed through the definition of several families of elements (furniture, acoustic elements, interactive elements, etc.) and based on developing common features for each of them. Each family required a different constructive system: the furniture had to be tough and prepared for a constant movement, the ceiling and the cladding needed a geometry which could absorb the sound etc. For the development, we create a special design program to each family, obtaining exportable and original systems.
The whole prototyping process required for the production of these non-standard systems has been possible with the aid of the digital production tools. The design has been developed through prototypes, one-to-one models, in which the principles of design, structure or manufacturing process are continuously related.
Drawings, construction details and models have been substituted by this series of real-scale models, allowing to develop a design by testing its result directly in the making, adjusting it until the system was ready for production. These non-standard designs are displayed on LEKA’s web platform, and available for the download. Customers can continue their LEKA experience either cooking an original recipe, or fabricating any of the furniture at home.
The acoustic elements
The wooden false ceiling is inspired by origami, combining in its design lightness and rigidity. Its acoustical performance is due to its geometry, which breaks the sound waves and dispels the echo. The ceiling hangs under a base of sound absorbing rock wool and is built with 3.5 mm thin birch boards bonded under pressure. This system works as a 3D puzzle, easy to assemble.
The cladding system draws a free line on the walls of the restaurant, which recalls the origami rooflines. It consists of conical holes that lead the sound wave inside, where they are absorbed by the mineral wool.
The geometry of the furniture is inspired by the triangulations of the project and adapts to the design requirements of each piece, conceived to have multiple combinations depending on the changing configuration of the restaurant.
The construction of the different furniture pieces is made with the same technique: a common design on the union between pieces. This union provides the necessary rigidity to withstand the continuous movement of the restaurant and allow quick assembly.
The tables are combinable in different arrangements, from a linear composition for a maximum density of diners to a combined composition for a large celebrations’ table. High tables are also triangular and combinable in linear, organic and even hexagonal provisions.
The chairs are ergonomically designed to be stacked and save space in the restaurant. The stools are ergonomically designed, again, based on triangulations. Most are arranged in the bar, forming an elevation which letters L-E-K-A play within the set.