At 66 years of age this year, Barcelona-born interior and industrial designer Pepe Cortes has built a public and private legacy that is acclaimed by design experts and celebrated by public opinion.Cortes is committed to supporting the role of design in the city, which has greatly influenced Barcelona commercial property. He has worked to foster other creatives through founding the Open Design Group and by teaching a new generation of creatives at the Eina Design School, where he first learnt his craft.
Winner of many industry and public opinion awards, his designs became a household name with the worldwide release of the Jamaican bar stool in the 1980s in much the same way that Phillip Starck became more widely known for his designs in the 90s. The stool is still used in fitouts around the globe – for example, in this San Francisco renovation for a Pixar animation chief – to bring an elegant-yet-casual, light and truly modern feel to a kitchen (or bar) space.
Pepe Cortes continues to work out of Barcelona. Here are 5 stunning examples of his designs that you can visit.
1. Tati restaurant (Avenida Diagonal 661-671)
Paying homage to Spanish architect Alvar Aalto, this restaurant/club has an aesthetic reminiscent of ‘60s cool. It uses cream colors and maple wood finishes to evoke warmth, and bright chairs and rounded edges to generate a sense of playfyulness.
2. Museum shop at Caixa Forum (Avenida Marques de Comillas 6-8)
This stunning museum shop in Caixa Forum – where visitors can see the fascinating exhibition celebrating Russian Ballet, or walk along the undulating rooftop of the former Casaromona factory building – won the FAD Interior Design Award in 2003 and was nominated for a coveted Saloni Award in the same year.
3. Fitness Centre in Hotel Juan Carlos I (Avenida Diagnoal 661)
Use of glass and natural materials soften this fitness centre and give a contrast to the shiny metal gym equipment. Housed in the hotel adjacent to Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, this venue provides an excellent excuse to check out Pepe Cortes’ work while also doing your daily constitutional. The design included swapping walls around to create new entrances and exteriors.
This stunning renovation brings a contemporary, designer feel and open spaciousness to an excellently located Eixample apartment. The contemporary renovations preserve the original modernist features of this charming 1906 building.
5. Terra Remota Winery (Els tallats Km 6 Crts de Capm,any, Sant Climent de Sescebes, Girona)
To explore the Terra Remota Winery in Girona is worth the day trip alone, although it also makes for a great side excursion while surveying luxury villas for sale in Girona. The Costa Brava region is becoming known as a promising new zone for the next generations of quality wines, combining advanced viticultural practices with innovative fermenting techniques.
Barcelona design is recognized internationally as a city leader in the creative industries, and Pepe Cortes plays a significant part in this city and regional identity. What is your favorite contribution of Pepe Cortes to Barcelona design history? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. If you would like to see the Pepe Cortes designer apartment for sale in Eixample, Barcelona, please contact Lucas Fox.