El Departamento signs interior design of Nude Project’s new store in Bilbao. From a complex and intricate space to a hangar with futuristic vibes. Terracotta floors, glossy finishes, gentle shapes, soft materials and fluorescent tubes shape the universe of this refuge from a dystopian future.

The architecture and interior design studio El Departamento takes on one of its most challenging retail projects: an intricate labyrinth of pillars on one of Bilbao’s most central streets. Located at 11 Marqués del Puerto Street, the new Nude Project store spans 190m2 and stands as the brand’s largest establishment to date.

Previously, this location had undergone various interventions related to building maintenance, including structural reinforcement that resulted in a configuration of concrete pillars measuring 40×40 sections. This intricate layout created an empty environment, difficult to articulate and uninviting for visitors. Confronted with this challenge, Alberto Eltini and Marina Martín, co-founders of El Departamento, along with their team, worked to transform this complex space into an opportunity to generate a bold project.

With a clear vision in mind, the studio proposes a concept that embraces and enhances the inherent brutalist essence of the space: a hangar reminiscent of a dystopian future, where nature and bright blue shapes take over. Within this setting, each pillar is encased in large planters, serving as striking furniture elements that define the layout.

Adding to the ambiance are suspended light boxes and stainless-steel structures seamlessly integrated with the lush perimeter greenery. Amidst this daring atmosphere, fitting rooms emerge as inviting havens, adorned with plush materials like velvet, bouclé wool or chocolate brown carpeting featuring the ubiquitous Nude Project logo, a stark contrast to the exterior aesthetic.

Meanwhile, lighting plays an essential role in evoking the dystopian future that breathes through the interior design. Rudimentary fluorescent tubes, distributed unevenly throughout the space, create a burst of light enhanced by the thousand reflections caused by their impact on stainless steel and the labyrinthine game of LED screens that outline circulation in space.

El Departamento decides to leave the pre-existing installations bare and homogenize them with a neutral tone, while the new ones remain in their natural form, color and arrangement.

Moreover, the studio showcases its high creative, technical and developmental skills through meticulous attention to detail within the space. El Departamento has custom-designed features like the doorknob crafted from travertine marble adorned with the brand logo, as well as the exclusive speakers suspended from the ceiling of this hangar.

Thus, this new venue in Bilbao, born from the collaboration between the studio and Nude Project, seamlessly integrates into the expanding network of brand physical spaces across cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lisbon and Milan, all bearing the distinct signature of El Departamento’s design.

Facts & Credits

Project title: Nude Project Bilbao

Project type: Retail architecture | Interior design

Archirecture, interior design, furniture design: El Departamento

Architecture team: Alberto Eltini & Marina Martín

Project location: Bilbao, Spain

Area: 190 m2

Text: Provided by the authors

Photography: Miguel Fernández-Galiano

Art Direction: El Departamento

About El Departamento
El Departamento is an experimental and daring studio, founded by Alberto Eltini and Marina Martín in early 2017 with the significant challenge of reevaluating the architecture and interior spaces within the historical context we live in. The studio’s ongoing research in its projects converges contemporary elements with experimentation. El Departamento aims to build a bridge between strict and rational architecture through free thinking and anti-establishment aesthetics, with the goal of challenging established norms and proposing a new vision. Each project represents an internal revolution that questions everything done so far, under the conscious premise that one cannot reinvent the wheel every day, but it’s worth trying.