Jacqueline: A Picasso-inspired Maximalist Restaurant by Rockwell Group

WORDS Cheri Morris PHOTOS Ricardo Labougle

Jacqueline by Rockwell Group is design poetry written in pattern, texture and maximalism. It merges Barcelona’s penchant for clean art nouveau details with Picasso’s surrealist musings of his second wife, Jacqueline Roque.

Led by Greg Keffer, partner and studio leader at Rockwell Group New York and Eva Longoria, principal and studio leader of Rockwell Group’s Madrid office, the three-storey restaurant in the Eixample district of Barcelona has an interior atmosphere that reflects the colourful sonority of the Catalonian city.

Jacqueline by Rockwell Group

Using colour and texturescapes from various portraits of Jacqueline, each section of the restaurant is an exercise in interpreting the Picasso’s details and hues through furniture and finishes.

The ground floor takes after the colourful and sensual 1955 portrait ‘Woman in a Turkish costume seated in a chair’. Depicted as ‘a woman of the harem’, Jacqueline proudly wears an odalisque costume whose reds, yellows and blues are mirrored on the Turkish-influenced interiors.

From here deep velvet blue curtains open to the Entry Bar, cloaked in bronze and antique mirrors and illuminated by a stained-glass window. In the Padded Room, an intimate lounge adorned in Turkish tapestry features a palm tree structure made of bronze metal and green, mirrored glass inspired by the palm trees outside of Picasso’s original atelier.

The open staircase ascending onto the second floor boasts a sculptural design, custom runner and an art nouveau-inspired handrail in dark bronze metal. One that organically curves up to the champagne bar and becomes the armature for a chandelier.

Jacqueline by Rockwell Group

The first-floor bar is entirely clad in rosy, floral motifs to reference “Jacqueline with Flowers” (1954), a portrait of Jacqueline in a crouched, Sphinx-like position on a red sofa with flowers and greenery.

The bar features a resin dye filled with champagne-like bubbles and plaster flowers painted in a range of pinks and purples. In the restroom vintage art nouveau posters abound on walls and doors, while the dramatic vanity mirrors are completed by metal peacock feathers.

A third more contemporary portrait of Jacqueline – ‘Woman in a Mantilla Red Background’ (1959) – is the source of inspiration for the Club area on the lower level. The portrait depicts Jacqueline in a traditional black lace shawl over her head and shoulders against a bright red backdrop, a stark colour contrast continued on the reflective red ceiling, red columns and backlit laser cut metal screens along the walls that evoke the mantilla’s lace.

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