Style from the gods – Spanish convent born again as culture and foodie hotspot

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IT’S the last place on earth you’d expect to find comfort and luxury. But if you’re looking for some upmarket R&R, get thee to a nunnery.

Or rather, two nunneries. Spanish designer Francesc Rife has transformed the 17th-century San Jose and Santa Teresa convents in Valencia into a food market and cinema and plans to add a hotel.

Rechristened Convent Carmen, the palm-strewn grounds have been fitted with shady pergolas and three shipping containers which house funky al fresco ‘food truck’ style restaurants – serving everything from regional classics like esgarraet and espetos to ramen and pad Thai.

The main buildings, which have been reconstructed in a minimalist style to accentuate the structure’s domed ceilings, will host film screenings and public talks.

“We sought to create very little noise through the design of a specifically minimalist structure,” said Rifé.

“Through light, we have worked to highlight the main elements of the church… The RGB colour light system allows you to experience space in a much more mystical and special way.”

A 50-room hotel is slated to open at the complex in 2020.

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