The new sustainable restaurant MO de Movimiento in Madrid’s Chamberí district is proof that innovation, architecture, design and gastronomy can go hand in hand with social responsibility.
In the quiet street of Calle de Espronceda, in Madrid’s Chamberí district, the newly opened and thoroughly sustainable restaurant MO de Movimiento is located where the Espronceda theatre once stood.
It serves organic food, prepared with local Spanish products, in a fully renovated environment, where the entire operation is also sustainable and socially responsible. Among the employees you will find a number who were otherwise at risk of social exclusion. Here, everyone can have a second chance, regardless of their background, and each employee is supported by a mentor.
MO de Movimiento opened in February 2020, but had to close a few weeks later due to the corona crisis. Already at the opening, they were at the forefront of the security measures that have since come with the corona crisis. Here you can only pay by credit card and the menu can be downloaded with a QR code. Since reopening to a “new reality” in May, it has become, at record speed, a gigantic success. Lunch and dinner are fully booked for several weeks.
MO de Movimiento (in English: MO for Movement) rests on two fundamental values: sustainability and social responsibility.
The project is the brainchild of the idealistic “Proyectos Conscientes”, Javier Antequera and Felipe Turell, whose mission is to reinvent business and cultural spaces with sustainability and social responsibility as their core values. They have worked with designer and craftsman Lucas Muñoz, who has spearheaded the redesign.
It has taken over 18 months to transform the former theatre into 1000 square metres of sustainable space, centred around a large glass-covered courtyard.
Innovative recycled design and environmentally friendly technology
The entire interior design process of the sustainable restaurant in Madrid has been a great exercise in recycling. The philosophy is that everything should be functional and simple. No superfluous decorations here.
In the spacious restaurant, decorated in an industrial look with sand-coloured floors and walls, nine large terracotta vases hang from the ceiling. Created by artisan Antonio Moreno Arias, they act as air conditioners in the ancient Arab tradition. In the top of them there is a fan and inside a water pump and an atomizer. When the water is sprayed into the room and mixed with Madrid’s dry, hot air, it cools the room. The excess water is used to water the garden.
MO de Movimiento is heated by two wood-fired furnaces, and the site has an underground water basin that collects rainwater and uses water resources. In addition, software has been installed to help continuously optimise the environment.
All lighting is created from recycled lamps. The ceiling lamps are made from former parking lamps, and the wall lamps are designed from copper pipes that were used for water and gas installations. There are also spherical glass lamps with industrial plugs and USB sockets.
As many materials as possible were recycled during the rebuilding. All the rubble and old cement has been recycled into walls, terrazzo benches and concrete worktops. The redesigned chairs and tables are made of pine from the former theatre, and some of the old bricks and cement have been used creatively to create the washbasin in the toilet. The walls of the toilet and kitchen are covered with recycled tiles.
Gastronomy with local, organic produce at its heart
The food at MO de Movimiento in Madrid is modern, simple and unpretentious.
The raw materials are selected with great care. Antequera and Turell travelled around Spain to select the finest organic and local produce and delicacies from quality-conscious suppliers. The menu changes seasonally, depending on the seasonal produce, and dishes include stone oven-baked pizzas, the house speciality, zucchini apple slices with tomato sauce and yoghurt, and burrata cheese from Valladolid.
The dessert menu includes tiramisu, organic 74% chocolate cake and cheesecake.
The average price for a meal is 25 euros, because social responsibility also involves the guests. Here, both the student and the businessman should be able to enjoy a good meal.
You can buy a bottle of house wine or olive oil from the small shop at the exit.
Uniforms in organic and recycled materials
The staff also wear environmentally friendly uniforms designed by Inés Sistiaga. The shirts are recycled in various patterns from charities and others, all dyed with vegetable dyes to give them a uniform look. The aprons are made of wax-coated organic cotton, the t-shirts of organic cotton, and the trousers are created in long-lasting polyester and they are washed with a special filter to avoid microplastics in the water that is rinsed out after washing.
MO de Movimiento, Calle de Espronceda 34