RESTAURANT REMI IN BERLIN BY ESTER BRUZKUS ARCHITEKTEN.
Restaurant REMI by Ester Bruzkus Architekten is the new kid on the block in Berlin’s Mitte neighbourhood and it packs plenty of surprises. The design is the result of a close collaboration with Dutch chefs Lode van Zuylen and Stijn Remi who envisioned the space to combine high-quality materials with rigorous attention to detail. The chefs explain that “the design is intended to emphasize simplicity and quality – and to enhance a dining experience that is authentic, straightforward and fun.”
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the new Bundschu Architekten-designed Suhrkamp Verlag building and takes advantage of the best attributes of the site. A great sense of openness is captured with high exposed concrete ceilings, an unencumbered layout and extensive glazing on both sides of the restaurant. Upon entry, a triangular wedge-shaped welcome desk resolves the complicated geometry of the site allowing the rest of the dining area to remain linear and uncomplicated.
At the heart of the space is the partially open kitchen volume encased in materials that work together like ingredients for a good meal. The striking palette consists of rough stucco, unfinished perforated aluminium, cherry-red MDF, natural lacquered birch, pale blue Kvadrat curtains, stainless steel and a natural deep red granite. Contrasting with the precise nature of the ground plane are overlapping rings of lighting that circle overhead in a freeform and dynamic fashion. These continuous lights, custom-designed by Ester Bruzkus, orbit the kitchen “enhancing and unifying the clean and transparent design,” explains the architect.
The inherent quality of the materials such as their depth, thickness and texture highlighted by faultlessly crisp detailing. Bruzkus explains that “the best example of this material approach is how the red-coloured MDF is used – the colour is not applied to the surface but all the interior fibres are stained – so when it is cut, it reveals its interior like a stick of butter.” The dining area furniture from Studio CouCou includes custom-made tables with fine plywood, polished steel and grey Forbo linoleum, paired with chairs from Please Wait To Be Seated. The custom plywood banquettes have been upholstered with vibrant yellow corduroy Kvadrat fabric and hanging wall lamps are by Muller van Severen from Valerie Objects.
The design of REMI makes use of contrasts in its celebration of good design and the modern dining experience. The design emphasizes sharp and soft, thick and thin, rough and smooth, colourful and restrained as well as playful and well-resolved. Every detail comes together like a well-crafted meal.