Casa Lobster Barcelona

Casa Lobster è un progetto firmato da El Departamento

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The optician store is located on the ground floor of a building with a neoclassical façade structure, in one of the central streets of the Eixample of Barcelona.

Casa Lobster is a project designed by El Departamento, an architecture and interior design firm led by Alberto Eltini and Marina Martín.

Casa Lobster is a project designed by El Departamento


“An empty space is an orphaned space, without a mother or a father. As such, it inherits two things. The first comes from the setting’s physical tangibility, from its morphology and materiality; the other is the soul of the space, and the uses that others have assigned to it”. – tell the designers“The setting in which we found ourselves undertaking the Casa Lobster project encompassed both these things, a physical heritage, in which a funnel, with a series of changes in level, leads to a rear courtyard, in keeping with the classic ground- floor layout of Barcelona’s Eixample. And a spiritual heritage, its function as an art gallery founded by the 1960’s visionary René Metrás.”

Casa Lobster is a project designed by El Departamento


Inspired by a select few of the artists who exhibited at the gallery, as well as Metrás’ audacious spirit, the designers envisaged the project as an artistic performance. A work of art embedded in the centre of the main hall, an artefact that could be traversed, touched, felt, in terms of its variety of textures, materials and illumination, as well as serving to exhibit the products. The great advantage of retail architecture lies in the fact that almost anything that be retail architecture, if it even requires such a qualifier, because architecture is always architecture.


The studio also wanted to use all these qualities, the setting’s formal and spiritual heritage, dovetailed with the idea of creating an artistic performance; a way of slamming our fist on the table a breaking away from the traditional idea of what an opticians should be, where products tend to get pushed towards the space’s periphery, amassed and lacking in hierarchy. Project Lobster is a brave and innovative brand and Casa Lobster follows its spirit.


One of the most captivated features about the original design of the René Metrás Gallery (commissioned by Metrás to two young architects J. Balari and J. Schmid) is the glass vault of the rear courtyard.

It was therefore proposed to reclaim this feature, reinterpreting it in Casa Lobster’s ‘tunnel’ where twelve solid methacrylate tubes form an irregular vault and provide an immaterial archway over the interstitial space in the multiverse that comprises the artefact/performance, which serves as an exhibition space in the main room.

Casa Lobster is a project designed by El Departamento


Casa Lobster is much more than its showroom, it is also an open kitchen workshop shared by clients and opticians, it is cabinets, the courtyard, and of course, the in between spaces that connect one room to the next, creating a sense of calm as you journey through the space.


The rooms feature a range of finishes designed to convey the character of each space. Velvet to gently cradle the products. Rendering to add texture to the space’s vertical features and accentuate the solemnity of the showroom’s impressive height. Wood to add warmth and a domestic feel to made-to-measure furnishings. Transparent methacrylate to blur boundaries and diffuse the light. Fabrics to carpet the floor and upholster the various sofas.

Casa Lobster is a project designed by El Departamento

Location Calle Consell de Cent 331, Barcelona
Area 210 sqm
Design El Departamento – Alberto Eltini and Marina Martín
Photo courtesy José Hevia

by AN shopfitting magazine no.166 ©