Weathered adobe walls of a Spanish church share a ridge with the pueblo ruins, which extend for a quarter-mile along a ridge in a valley shared by the Glorieta Creek and the Pecos River. Long before Spaniards entered this country, this pueblo village was the juncture of trade between people of the Rio Grande Valley and hunting tribes of the buffalo plains. Its nearly 2,000 inhabitants could marshal 500 fighting men; its frontier location brought both war and trade.
At trade fairs, Plains tribes, mostly nomadic Apaches, brought slaves, buffalo hides, flint, and shells to trade for pottery, crops, textiles, and turquoise with the river Pueblos. Pecos Indians were middlemen, traders and consumers of the goods and cultures of the very different people on either side of the mountains. They became economically powerful and practiced in the arts and customs of two worlds.
Pecos Indians remained Puebloan in culture, despite cultural blendings, practicing an ancient agricultural tradition borne north from Mexico by the seeds of sacred corn. By the late Pueblo period, the last few centuries before the Spaniards arrived in the Southwest, people in this valley had congregated in multi-storied towns overlooking the streams and fields that nourished their crops. In the 1400s, these groups gathered into Pecos pueblo, which became a regional power. (at Pecos National Historical Park)
Tamarindo is a kitchen and bar with an international menu. Located in Ourense, Spain, Tamarindo was created as a refreshing alternative for local walkers who are used to traditional bars and restaurants, and is described as a place with two distinct moods and spaces, the casa cocina or house/kitchen, a place for coffee and a quick snack, and a bar for beer and tapas. The interior, created by architects and husband and wife team Ruben Gil D. and Gretta R. Valdés, features a combination of light wood ceilings, adobe walls, dim lighting and steel furniture. This contemporary interior and the dual nature of Tamarindo’s space is distilled down into its visual identity designed by Mexican studio La Tortillería and extends across a variety of collateral including stationery, packaging, menus, coasters, tote bags and custom glass bottles.
The horizontal contrast of colour and the absence of colour, made up of the three pastels, a bright orange and white board, perhaps reflective of relaxed afternoons and warm vibrant evenings, makes for a distinctive yet simple aesthetic neatly founded on the dual nature of the restaurant and effectively binds print and packaging. The strong sense of consistency established by the contrast of colour — even running across what is often the underserved basic utility of the receipt — is punctuate by a material variety, presumably mirroring some of the qualities of Tamarindo’s interior space. This includes the light wood of the menus, the linen of the tote bag, the glass of the jar and the unbleached board of the coffee cups.
La Tortillería’s approach manages to draw both simple bold distinction and subtle variety from the familiar concept of duality and contrast, and build on this with an architectural reference and material diversity, giving the result a tactile breadth, a good sense of quality and contemporary restraint.