Ferran Adrià’s ‘elBulli1846’ culinary and research project completed by March 2016
‘elBulli1846’, the ambitious initiative of acclaimed Chef Ferran Adrià, could well become a reality in March 2016 thanks to a €9 million investment made through the Catalan Chef’s foundation. The Catalan Government described such an initiative as “a national project”. ‘elBulli1846’ is named after the number of dishes created in the 3-Michelin-star El Bulli, which was awarded the world’s best restaurant on 5 occasions. Adrià’s new project is notably looking to establish a unique centre in the world for innovation, research, and training in the field of avant-garde cuisine. Besides, for 20 days a year, visitors will have access to ElBulli restaurant, with half of the available entrances awarded for free through a lottery. The centre will be located in the old restaurant’s venue in the Cap de Creus Natural Park (Costa Brava). 3,000 square metres will be added but built respecting the environment.
Barcelona (ACN).- ‘elBulli1846’, the ambitious initiative of acclaimed Chef Ferran Adrià, and his partner Juli Soler, could well become a reality in March 2016 thanks to a €9 million investment made through the Catalan Chef’s foundation: elBullifoundation. ‘elBulli1846’ is named after the number of dishes created in the 3-Michelin-star El Bulli, which was awarded the world’s best restaurant on 5 occasions. Adrià’s new project is notably looking to establish a unique centre in the world for innovation, research, and training in the field of avant-garde cuisine. Besides, for 20 days a year, visitors will have access to ElBulli restaurant and its creative dishes, with half of the available entrances awarded for free through a lottery. Finally, food-lovers will be able to journey through the history of gourmet inventions thanks to a dedicated exhibition space. This one of a kind centre will occupy a total of 4,383 square meters, after renovating the old restaurant located next to the beach Cala Montjoi, in the Cap de Creus Natural Park. Furthermore, 3,000 square metres will be added but built half-underground, in order to respect the environment. The Catalan Government described the initiative as “a national project”. For this reason is has brought a bill to the Catalan Parliament to allow expanding the facilities since they are built in a National Park. The bill should be approved by July and construction works should start next September. Ferran Adrià has been named 'the world's best Chef' on five occasions and it has totally changed cuisine. He has taught at Harvard and his cuisine has been the object of many exhibitions, such as in London and New York.
The ‘elBulli1846’ project, created by Chef Ferran Adrià and his business partner Juli Soler, combines innovation, creativity and research to promote the legacy of the prestigious former 3-Michelin star restaurant, in a holistic architectural concept. While presenting the project in Barcelona last Friday, Ferran Adrià also stressed they intended it to be “smart” and “sustainable”. The project will have an entire Internet dimension, with most of its visitors only accessing it from online.
Adrià has donated the land for elBulli’s enlargement to the Catalan Government
The Catalan Chef insisted that ‘elBulli1846’ is “a project that belongs to everyone and is for everyone”. In Friday’s ceremony, Ferran Adrià officialised the donation of the land to build the 3,466-square-meter enlargement to the Catalan Government. He guaranteed maximum “transparency” and asked the people who disagreed with the initiative to explain themselves. The project has received criticism from environmental organisations because it is located in a Natural Park.
The future bill to be voted in Parliament will speed up construction
The centre will be located in the Cap de Creus Natural Park and since starting the works requires lengthy procedures for territorial and environmental reasons, the Catalan Government agreed to file a bill to declare ‘elBulli1846’ a project of public interest, in order to speed up the construction process.
The bill is expected to be voted in the Catalan Parliament in July, and will act as a license for construction to begin. The works are then scheduled to start in September 2014 and should be completed in March 2016.
The innovative project expected to boost tourism
The Catalan Minister of Planning and Sustainability, Santi Vila, said that placing the centre “at the heart of a natural park” represented a “real challenge” in terms of regulations, but stressed that it is a “wonderful opportunity to lift Cala Montjoi” which has “accumulated many wounds” in the past years. The Mayor of Roses – the municipality to which Cala Montjoi belongs, Montse Mindan, said that the project could be a “catalyst” to have visitors all-year-round.
The project includes building an innovative research Laboratory, which will be known as ‘elBulliDNA’ and employ a team of 30 gastronomy experts in various disciplines. These experts will be in charge of opening the restaurant for 20 days a year, where 50 % of the entrances will be free and allocated by lottery. The other half will contribute to the revenues of the foundation in order to perpetuate its mission. The operational costs of ‘elBulli1846’ will both be financed by its activities for visitors as well as by private sponsors.
Blending architecture with the landscape
The architectural project was developed by Architecture Company Cloud9 and its Director Enric Ruiz Geli, design firm Narvaiza Ruiz and Associates and by landscape architects Estudi Marti Franch. The project includes the renovation and rehabilitation of the former 3-star restaurant, along with the construction of new buildings for the laboratory and the exhibition space. The centre will have three different spaces. The nearest one to the sea hosts the restaurant. The others will be, firstly, the former Marketta Villa, which will be entirely renovated to host the people working in the project, and secondly the half-underground enlargement.
Out of the existing 1,116,18 m2, 896,76 m2 will be renovated and 219,42 m2 demolished while 3,466 m2 will be constructed to reach a total of 4,383,50 m2. Most of the new facilities will be underground and their roofs will host gardens. They will be integrated into the landscape through a system of stone walls evoking the characteristic terraces of rural environments in Cap de Creus.