Diego Gronda – Interior Designer


Fast Lane:

– Wallpaper or paint?

Painted wallpaper.

– Curtains or blinds?

Whatever suits the space and its character and the demographic we are addressing.

– Marble floors or wood?

I love the warmth of wood but sometimes you need a contrast with the coldness of marble.

– Beer or wine?

Absolutely red wine, but after cooling off with a cold beer. Contrast is always a must.



What initially attracted you to becoming an interior designer?

I have to admit I have never studied interior design. I have two degrees in architecture and started working in interior design as a way broadening my canvas. I needed to have a complete grasp of a guest experience. This included mastering urban, landscape, architectural, industrial, graphic and interior design. From my point of view, interior design was a needed discipline to create the ultimate holistic design approach.




Where did you get the inspiration for designing TATEL Miami?

The TATEL brand was born in Madrid, where the first TATEL opened in 2015. I think one of the most difficult challenges of this project has been to export Madrid’s energy and buzz to Miami Beach. One thing that Madrid and Miami have in common is their loud and festive nightlife, however the energy is different. When TATEL landed in Miami, the benchmark was way up with world renowned chefs and restaurant concepts, north and south. Our extensive experience in international restaurants made it easier to address those issues but at the same time we needed to be different and authentic. TATEL is all about authenticity.


In what ways did you incorporate the Spanish theme in your process?

For this project, we decided to tap into art realm rather than have the typical themed design approach. Art is a very strong component of the Spanish culture. This was incorporated into the first TATEL in a playful way. In Miami we wanted to address this artistic approach in a more subtle and original way. At the Miami property, we confronted old fashioned oil and canvas art of Joaquin Sorolla depicting female sensuality at the end of the 19th century with XXI Century technological installations. At the main dining room, Sorolla is counter parted with seven large LED screens mounted on the ceiling showing a lady swing at moonlight. STUDIO GRONDA commissioned a film director to capture the ultimate female seduction on Mediterranean waters. An overcalled LED projection wall depicts a clip with a flamenco dancer at the entrance of the restaurant. We feel that both video installations represent contemporary Spanish culture in its own unique way, veering away from the typical themed approach.




What’s your favorite detail about the space for TATEL Miami?

There are two game changers in this restaurant that I feel exceptionally proud of. One is the use of video art as a way of balancing past art masterpieces. For us, any kind of video installation has to follow two rules: the guest should see the animation on the projection as a real-life scene. Secondly, the scale of the projected bodies need to be true human scale. My second favorite detail is the chandelier bar, which was designed to be free-standing. The bar is not attached to the ceiling in order to protect and preserve the original heritage room envisioned by Art Deco district star Morris Lapidus.


In what way does the design vary for the different TATEL locations and what are some similarities between them?

I think of TATEL similarly to Spanish culture, both are living creatures. Both will evolve like a character in a play or in a book. We are only seeing the first steps of this brand. I do believe that the approach is not to repeat ourselves throughout different locations (Ibiza, Mexico and San Francisco). I think that the design should never approach a passive or sleepy kind of atmosphere. TATEL´s DNA is very energetic. This Spanish energy combined with old fashioned comfort food is the true soul of TATEL! One of TATEL Miami’s owner’s, Manuel Campos, describes comfort food as “It’s like our grandmothers recipes brought to life in the 21st century.” Comfort food, fun and energy are the elements of TATEL’s DNA that should be repeated but at the same time reinterpreted at each new location. TATEL´s soul is only one, its global iterations, infinite.

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