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    Pearce+ creates temporary sub-zero restaurant in Canada

    UK architecture studio Pearce+ and Canadian designer Joe Kalturnyk have created a temporary inflatable restaurant for subzero temperatures in Winnipeg, Canada.

    The barrel-vaulted restaurant has space for 48 guests dining in temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius during the 10th annual RAW:almond fine dining food festival, which celebrates both Canadian cuisine and the harsh winter.
    The temporary restaurant was designed by Pearce+Each year, the food festival commissions the construction of a temporary structure that responds to its environment and incorporates sustainable reuse.
    “[The shelter] mirrors the ethos of the food served within by minimizing waste, discovering elegance in simplicity, creatively celebrating local identity, and incorporating a global outlook,” said the team.
    It featured a vaulted dining roomPearce+, based in Herfordshire and London, constructed the 220-square metre (2,370-square foot) restaurant in just a few weeks, and it was in use for 22 days early in 2024.

    The snow-surrounded structure had a cruciform plan with a 140-square metre (1,500-square foot) vaulted dining room that contained two linear tables.
    Pearce+ developed custom inflatable panelsEmploying a Diagrid framework, the vault was constructed from 18-meter-long, 15-millimetre reinforced steel bars.
    “These bars were bundled in groups of three, with varying plywood spacers, to create exceptionally lightweight trusses,” the team said.
    Interior diamond-shaped panels featured a reflective foil layerThe team – with the help of inflatable specialists at Inflate Ltd – developed custom inflatable panels that mitigated the potential pressure to decrease the cold temperature’s lower air density. It was stretched over the framework.
    The diamond-shaped panels featured a gold-coloured foil layer that reflected heat into the space.
    Festival goers entered through a smaller vaulted lobby tunnelAlong the ridge line, the gold panels were swapped with transparent ones, offering a view to the snowy sky.
    The panels were connected with Velcro – rather than glue due to the extreme temporal variation – and were disassembled and stored for future uses.
    Directly across from the entrance was the rectangular kitchenCapping each end of the dining area were trapezoidal buttressing structures, designed to resist strong winds and offer emergency egress.
    Festival goers entered through a smaller vaulted lobby tunnel at the centre of the plan. A gabled wooden vestibule transitioned into the dining area.

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    Directly behind the structure was the rectangular kitchen.
    Separated by a small hallway, the kitchen was constructed with a Structurally Insulated Panels (SIP) flat-pack and outfitted with high-quality appliances.
    Rectangular dining tables featured insideThe structure was meant to be a demonstration of ways to conserve space by utilising temporary structures.
    “I think it’s necessary to start re-envisioning how we use space, for what and for how long,” said RAW:almond co-founder Joe Kalturnyk.
    “In the beginning I was interested in seeing if you can temporarily build a city within a city – and what better way to test the idea than with food? RAW:almond was a huge leap – would people embrace the winter and eat outdoors? Would they do it on a frozen river? And ultimately, could we even pull this off?”
    In 2015, the RAW:almond pop-up restaurant was constructed on the surface of a frozen river with an X-shaped plan lying over the connection between the Assiniboine and Red rivers.
    The restaurant was designed for subzero temperaturesAlso in Winnipeg, Canadian studio KPMB revealed a horticultural centre with a Fibonacci spiral roof.
    The photography is by Simeon Rusnak.
    RAW:almond 2024 took place from 24 January to 18 February. For more events, talks and exhibitions involving architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide.
    Project credits:
    Project founders: Joe Kalturnyk & Mandel HitzerArchitect/designer: Pearce+ and Joe KalturnykArchitect of record: AtLrg ArchitectureProject management: Joe KalturnykStructural engineers: Wolfrom EngineeringInflatable specialists: InflateVisualisations: Pearce+Construction: RAW:Almond team, Pearce+ and Hi-Rise

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    Cavernous restaurant by Spacemen feels like “stepping into a giant pot”

    Architecture studio Spacemen has designed the Bar Kar restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to resemble the earth ovens historically used to cook and smoke food in the ground.

    Based between Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, Spacemen conceived the interiors for Bar Kar “around the concept of primordial community cooking”.
    Bar Kar is entered via a pathway lined with firewoodGuests enter the eatery through a winding pathway lined with the same firewood used in the restaurant’s kitchen.
    This immersive hall was bookended with mirrored walls to give the illusion of an infinite space.
    Cavernous walls were designed to evoke ancient cooking pitsA bespoke yellow onyx welcome desk with a timber base was positioned at the end of the pathway, which leads to the main dining hall through a stucco-clad tunnel illuminated by a rounded skylight.

    Cavernous, terracotta-hued walls were designed to evoke ancient cooking pits.
    The central “chef’s table” was finished in veiny grey travertine”It’s as if patrons are actually stepping into a giant pot,” Spacemen founder Edward Tan told Dezeen.
    This geometry is echoed in curved tables and banquettes as well as a U-shaped central “chef’s table” finished in veiny grey travertine.
    Arranged around an open, terracotta tile-clad kitchen, the back-lit table provides a space for guests to sit and watch their meals take shape.
    Brown slate flooring was chosen to emulate rocks”All of the elements and finishes are inspired by primordial times,” said Tan, noting the locally sourced brown slate flooring, which was chosen to resemble rocks.
    Crumpled mesh sculptures reminiscent of flames were suspended from curved holes in the undulating ceiling.

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    Bar Kar also features a private dining room informed by “the organic contours of a cave”. For this space, Spacemen chose cream-coloured stucco, stacked in ridged layers to mimic the inside of a cocoon.
    Another gold mesh sculpture hangs over the room’s central red travertine table.
    The private stucco-clad dining room mimics a cocoon”We deconstructed the elements of primordial living in ancient times and put them into an abstract composition,” Tan said. “We wanted to make the restaurant familiar but with a fun and contemporary approach.”
    Known for its bold application of colour and texture, Spacemen previously inserted an “otherworldly” moss-covered installation in a luxury bag store in Putrajaya.
    Other earthy interiors include Studio Wok’s cavernous pizzeria in Sardinia, with sandy pink plaster walls designed to reflect the island’s wind-swept granite rocks.
    The photography is by Su Ping. 

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    Joanna Laajisto creates “dark and woody” interior for Pyhä Ski Resort pizzeria

    Helsinki-based designer Joanna Laajisto has completed Popolo, a ski resort restaurant designed to be both cosy and practical for guests walking in from the slopes.

    The Studio Joanna Laajisto founder designed the pizzeria as part of Kultakero, a new hotel at the Pyhä Ski Resort in northern Finland.
    The interior pairs slate flooring with patterned timber wall panellingHer scheme features a floor made from irregularly shaped slabs of slate and wall panelling with distinct feather-like grain patterns.
    Other key details at Popolo include leather seating and copper lamps and candleholders, which offer a sense of warmth.
    Snowy scenes outside the window allowed for a darker material palette”The restaurant is designed to fit into the unique landscape of Pyhä; easily approachable yet atmospheric, suitable for both skiing directly from the slope and an atmospheric multi-course dinner,” Laajisto said.

    The designer based the design on her own experiences of the area. She has a vacation home in Pyhä and spends much of her time snowboarding and mountain biking here.
    “I have spent most of my winter holidays in this place with family and friends, so I just imagined a space we would all love to spend time in,” she told Dezeen.
    Copper lamps and candleholders bring a sense of visual warmthThe large windows, offering views of the snow-covered slopes, led her to explore materials that might otherwise have felt inappropriate.
    “Those elements allowed us to create a dark and woody interior without it becoming too heavy or classical for a Finnish ski resort,” she said.

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    The slate floor, made with stone sourced from northern Norway, takes cues from the floor in Pyhä’s original hotel.
    Laajisto explained how this stone floor, which has been in place since 1966, has remained in “mint condition” despite 60 years of being walked over in ski boots.
    “That’s why I knew it would be a durable and lasting choice,” she said.
    A pizza oven is a focal point in the spaceFor the wood panelling, which also features on Popolo’s tabletops, Laajisto chose a birch plywood with a veneer that was pad-dyed to give it a rich dark tone.
    The striking grain patterns come from cutting the logs at an angle.
    Finnish artist Johanna Lumme is responsible for the oil paintings that hang on the wallsFocal points include a large pizza oven and a series of oil paintings by Finnish artist Johanna Lumme, who was specially commissioned to paint the landscape of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park.
    Furniture and fittings include wooden chairs and stools from Czech brand TON, pendant lamps from British brand Mullan and a chequered wool textile, which forms upholstered backrests for the leather seating banquettes.
    Dining tables feature the same timber grain patterns as the wall panellingLaajisto has also designed interiors for various restaurants and bars in Helsinki, including wine bar and bakery, The Way, and French bistro, Cafe Savoy.
    Other recent projects include the logistics centre for Finnish Design Shop.
    The photography is by Mikko Ryhänen.

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    Sundholm Studio revamps Nanas restaurant to capture “spirit of grandmothers”

    Interiors practice Sundholm Studio has refreshed the 30-year-old Nanas restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, with strong colours, bespoke timber joinery and metalwork.

    Previously named Nana’s, the restaurant was renamed Nanas, in tribute to “not one nana, but rather the entire genre,” Sundholm Studio creative director Shaun Sundholm told Dezeen.
    The space – intended to capture the hospitable “spirit of grandmothers” – comprises a bar, salon, dining room and an outdoor patio.
    Navy fluted walls form the backdrop to the salonSundholm’s aim was to update the space with “modern details that bring the outside in”.
    The existing curved walls in the entryway were retained and reworked with wooden slats, which light passes through to evoke “a walk through the woods”.

    Wooden window blinds and sheer drapes in the dining room help with acoustic absorption and adjusting the natural light levels.
    The seating is a mixture of banquette booths and chairsThe dimly lit entrance was contrasted with the bar, dining area and salon, where jewel-toned colours like emerald green, sapphire blue, and rich amber orange have been used.
    “I aimed to pay homage to aspects of the previous design where possible, accentuating some of the interesting bits of the existing physical space, such as the curved wall at the entrance and the hints of orange throughout – recalling the bright, blaze orange walls of the past,” Sundholm explained.

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    In line with the jewel-toned colour palette, Sundholm selected a variety of textures to use across the restaurant, including glossy green handmade Italian tiles and brass finishes.
    Blue velvet upholstery covers the banquettes in the bar, while “vintage luggage” orange leather covers the banquettes in the salon and dining area.
    The dark entrance leads into a curved passage, through to the dining roomBrass archways designed by local metal art studio Andrew Preiss Designs feature across the restaurant, including as a portal between the salon and dining area. This arch motif is echoed in the bathroom mirrors.
    Earth-toned grasscloth wallpaper and a plaid-patterned carpet contrast the solid colours and textures.
    “For this restaurant, our initial mood boards culled from a diverse range – from The Golden Girls and vintage Ralph Lauren textiles to 1970s Cadillacs and abstract impressionist art inspired by the Smoky Mountains,” Sundholm said.
    Bold colour is used for the restaurant seatingThe studio’s goal was to “distill these inspirations into their core elements” and use them to inform the interiors in a “non-gimmicky” way.
    A collection of mixed-media artworks by local artist Jason Craighead featured across the restaurant add to this aesthetic.
    Tartan carpet introduces a pattered counterpoint to the block coloursOther recently renovated restaurants featured on Dezeen include Aino and Alvar Aalto’s Savoy restaurant in Helsinki restored after 80 years and The Bird in Montauk designed by Home Studios.
    The photography is by Lissa Gotwals and D L Anderson.

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    Home Studios refreshes The Wren pub on New York’s Bowery

    Brooklyn-based Home Studios has remodelled a bar and restaurant in New York’s East Village, using dark wood and velvet seating to retain a “worn-in and aged appearance”.

    The Wren on the busy Bowery thoroughfare has become a neighbourhood staple since opening in 2012, but was ready for an interior revamp.
    The Wren has been remodelled in a way that retains its rustic charmHome Studios refreshed both levels of the upscale pub, including the upper-floor dining and drinking area, and private lounge downstairs.
    “Despite the changes in the city and the evolution of the neighbourhood, The Wren has maintained its timeless appeal, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and an authentic pub experience,” said Home Studios, led by founder Oliver Halsegrave.
    The L-shaped bar has a marble counter and is surrounded by GAR Products stoolsAcross the main level, dark and moody materials have been used to retain the pub-like quality of the spaces, assisted by the exposed wooden ceiling beams and columns, and hardwood floors.

    Either side of the entrance, black-painted, booth-style benches are installed against the walnut wall panelling, creating cosy nooks for pairs or small groups to occupy.
    Towards the back, a chocolate-coloured velvet banquette features ribbed cushionsThe bar area features an L-shaped marble counter surrounded by GAR Products stools, opposite black wainscoting that runs below vintage-looking wallpaper.
    Towards the back, a long banquette is dressed in ribbed cushions that form the seating and backrests, all wrapped in brown velvet.
    Custom mirrors alternate with disk-shaped sconces by In Common WithCustom arched shaped mirrors mounted on the walls alternate with disk-shaped sconces by In Common With, against a beige textured plaster backdrop.
    A variety of other sconces throughout were sourced from lighting brands including O’Lampia, Shades of Light, Allied Maker and Rejuvenation.
    Guests can choose from a variety of booths, two-tops or standing areas”With a worn-in and aged appearance, the space now exudes a moody winter-like atmosphere,” said Home Studios.
    Downstairs, the mood is even more “sultry” and intimate, thanks to darker surfaces and a variety of dim, warm lighting sources.

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    The bar counter is made from Black Portoro marble and the wood floors are also stained black, while the banquette upholstery is a lighter tone than found on the upper level.
    Between the two floors, guests can choose from a variety of seating or standing spots for enjoying their beers, cocktails and bar food.
    In the private area downstairs, the mood is more sultry and the banquette upholstery is lighter in colour”Home Studios has seamlessly blended nostalgic and rustic charm throughout The Wren’s interior, creating an inviting and distinctive ambiance that pays homage to the bar’s storied history,” said the team.
    Home Studios is no stranger to refreshing beloved establishments, having completed interiors for The Bird in Montauk and The Pearl in Nantucket.
    The downstairs area features dark-stained floors and a black marble bar counterThe firm also recently turned a conference centre in Northern California back into a luxury hotel, as originally intended by the property’s founder: the inventor of the radio.
    The photography is by Brian W Ferry.

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    Erik Bratsberg fills Persona restaurant with tactile materials and own artworks

    Interior designer Erik Bratsberg has created unique artwork for the interior of the Persona restaurant in Stockholm, which also features asymmetrical terrazzo and patinated brass details.

    Bratsberg, who worked in finance before moving into interior design, wanted the fine dining restaurant in Stockholm’s upmarket Östermalm neighbourhood to have a warm and welcoming feel.
    Persona is located in Stockholm’s Östermalm area”The inspiration is drawn from a mix of personal experiences, subconscious imprints from admired styles, particularly mid-century Italian design, and a desire to integrate a homely warmth into a hospitality environment,” he told Dezeen.
    “The design philosophy centres around creating a timeless, inviting space that enhances the dining experience while maintaining a sense of personal touch and intimacy.”
    Green tones feature throughout the interiorGreen hues are used throughout Persona’s 120-square-metre interior, complementing its cream-coloured walls and numerous wooden furniture pieces and panelling.

    “Green is my go-to when I want to arouse a sense of calmness and comfort,” Bratsberg explained.
    Designer Erik Bratsberg used furniture pieces with rounded and organic shapes”It’s a tertiary colour, a mix of a cold and a warm colour, which allows it to go well with both warmer and colder hues and materials – a yin and yang of colours somehow,” he added.
    “Green also brings the mind to nature and I guess my love for green relates to the joy of seeing the leaves back on the trees after a long Swedish winter.”
    “Honey-tinted” oak shelving is filled with crockery and artThe restaurant, which feels more like a living room than an eatery in parts, also features plenty of natural materials such as stone and wood, which are interspersed with terrazzo and brass to create tactile interest.
    This material mix was chosen to evoke a sense of “casual elegance”, Bratsberg said.
    “For the floor I played around with the possibilities of terrazzo, using shades of green and warm greys and whites forming an asymmetrical pattern,” the designer explained.

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    Bratsberg clad the walls of the Persona restaurant in an off-white plaster with a mottled surface, designed to contrast the “silky honey-tinted oak” used for the wall shelving and tables.
    “Patinated brass together with details in yellow ochre acts as an accent,” Bratsberg added. “Sheer curtains, patinated leather and textured textiles round it all off.”
    Bratsberg created his own artworks for the restaurantCustom-made abstract artworks also decorate the interior. Bratsberg made these himself from watercolour paintings that he had made, which were then screen-printed onto acoustic panels.
    “In my multidisciplinary practice I strive to interrelate my art, design and interior work – why not make a lamp into sculpture, or a bar front as a painting, or a plain wall a relief?” Bratsberg said.
    Cut-out geometric details add extra interest to the barAlso notable in the interior is the variation of shapes, with the angular tables and counters contrasting against round and jagged lamps, cut-out geometric details and smaller tables made from organically shaped burl wood and stone.
    “Perfectly straight lines and symmetry bring order and calmness for the eye, but never have I been particularly intrigued by squares and straight lines,” Bratsberg said.
    “On the other hand, too much asymmetrical geometries and organic shapes can bring the feeling of disorder. But balancing the two – as with many opposites or contrasts – can create an interesting harmony,” he added.
    The bathroom features undulating mirrors and a mix of different shapesIn the bathroom, undulating mirrors match a wavy sink and are juxtaposed against square wall niches and angled, jagged cut-out wall decorations.
    “Forms, lines, colours and materiality speak to us in mysterious ways, but an interior without any sculptural form and asymmetries is like a language without exclamation marks, gestures or emotional expression to me,” Bratsberg concluded.
    Other Stockholm restaurants with interesting interiors featured on Dezeen include an “unexpected” restaurant in a historic food hall and a decadent Italian restaurant located in a former cinema.
    The photography is by Erik Lefvander.

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    Bench Architecture tops Brooklyn brewery with tile-lined pizzeria

    Local architecture studio Bench Architecture has topped a Brooklyn brewery with a pizzeria and bar outfitted in a “colourfully tactile palette” including a wall of aqua-blue tile.

    In East Williamsburg, Lala’s Brooklyn Apizza shop is located above the Grimm Artisanal Ales brewery – a converted automobile shop that opened in 2018 and was also designed by Brooklyn-based Bench Architecture.
    Local studio Bench Architecture has topped a brewery with a pizzeria in BrooklynThe second-floor pizzeria consists of a large open space flanked on either side by a pizza kitchen and terracotta-clad bar, while a series of bi-fold doors lead out onto a rooftop terrace.
    “A colourfully tactile palette was used to frame two poles of the space,” the studio said.
    The space sits on top of a converted autobody shop The space sits on top of a converted autobody shop
    At one end of the interior space, a pizza oven is surrounded by light green Portuguese tile, while a white mosaic tile was used to clad the oven itself.  A bar counter topped with moonstone and wrapped in corrugated wood frames the oven, with a small service window lined with the same moonstone placed to the side.

    Across the space, a service bar was wrapped in fluted terracotta tiles and topped with a dark grey Mexican Cantera stone counter.
    The studio organized the interior into “nodes”A wall of aqua-blue concrete tile sits behind the bar, extending along the space and outside onto the terrace.
    Magenta-pink curtains line the back wall and a wood-slatted ceiling connects these two bars, which the studio refers to as “nodes”. The two countertops were designed to have contrasting materiality.
    Wood and terracotta-clad bar counters on either end of a dining space”These ‘rough’ and ‘polished’ nodes are unified by a curved wood-slat ceiling and magenta curtain which accent primary surfaces as well as soften the acoustics of the space,” said the studio.
    An angled mirror was placed above the curtain and spans its width to visually connect the interior space to the terrace, according to the studio.

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    Outside, the terrace is flanked on both sides by walls of light pink and blue tile, with a Cantera stone floor covering the entirety of the space.
    Simple wooden picnic tables populate both the interior dining area and outdoor space, with shelving and a rack of firewood dispersed around them.
    Colourful tile was used to line the interior and exterior wallsBench Architecture expanded upon similar themes it used for the brewery and taproom on the ground floor below, which opened in 2018.
    Similar red-hued curtains line the space and a corrugated metal-clad bar was placed along the building’s front windows to provide space for brewery production.
    The space opens onto a terrace through a series of bi-fold glass doorsA series of pendants hang from the ceiling, which marks an original mezzanine design for the space.
    “A grid of hanging pendant lights create a ‘ceiling’ to the space, which outlines the extent of the original mezzanine design for the room, which was superseded by the rooftop extension,” said the studio.
    Bench Architecture is a Brooklyn-based architecture studio founded by David Bench in 2020 that specializes in residential, retail and event spaces.
    Other interior projects recently completed in the Williamsburg area include a residential loft that doubles as a performance space and a Kith store featuring a brick silo at its centre.
    The photography is by Nicholas Venezia
    Project credits:
    Architecture and interiors: Bench ArchitectureConstruction manager: Bench ArchitectureMEP: ABS EngineeringStructural: Becker

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    Ivy Studio installs colourful marble in Montreal’s Hayat restaurant

    Montreal-based Ivy Studio has chosen a variety of dramatic marble to outfit a Middle Eastern restaurant, which features a colour palette influenced by “the earthy tones of the Syrian deserts”.

    In Montreal’s Old Port neighbourhood, the 1,500-square-foot (140-square metre) Hayat restaurant is designed to reflect the cuisine served by chef Joseph Awad.
    The marble host stand at Hayat sets the tone for the restaurant’s Middle Eastern-influenced colour palette”This Middle Eastern restaurant’s colour palette was inspired by the earthy tones of the Syrian deserts and their surrounding greenery,” said Ivy Studio.
    Upon entering is a screen of black hammered-glass panels, which also conceals the kitchen in the far corner.
    In the main dining space, banquette seating runs along two walls below a fabric ceiling installationIn the main dining room, built-in benches form an L along two walls, while a pair of U-shaped booths sit against another that arches over them.

    The seat backs are upholstered in mauve velvet and the cushions are wrapped in contrasting deep green leather.
    Private booths are positioned below an arched ceiling and behind a partition of black hammered glassCloser to the kitchen is another small, semi-circular booth built into the walnut millwork.
    Here the cushioned seats are covered in ruby-toned velvet, and a metallic light fixture is suspended above.
    The bar is made from a dramatic marble variety with streaks of teal, pistachio and cream coloursIvy Studio selected a wide variety of striking, richly veined marbles, “each contributing their own touch of colour into the space” according to the team.
    The bar is made from a dramatic stone with teal, cream and pistachio striations, while the host stand and dining table tops in the main area are purple and white.
    A red-hued semicircular booth is tucked into the walnut millwork close to the kitchenThe building’s exposed brickwork is painted cream to match the other walls, while the original historic stone between the large windows is left exposed.
    “The ancient stone walls at the front and rear facades were left intact to showcase the building’s history,” Ivy Studio said.

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    Curved layers across the ceiling, which hide indirect lighting, are designed to evoke the smooth landscapes of the Middle East.
    A fabric installation suspended above the dining tables curves around more strips of lighting, diffusing the light to create a warm glow.
    The bar is made from a dramatic marble variety with streaks of teal, pistachio and cream coloursWalnut, stone and cream walls are also found in the bathrooms, which echo the colour and material scheme throughout the restaurant.
    “The overall intention of the palette was to bring together the worlds of Middle Eastern nature and Old Montreal construction,” the studio said.
    The same material palette continues in the moody bathroomsIvy Studio has completed several interiors across Montreal that include colourful marble.
    These include the Italian restaurant Piatti where the dark green stone contrasts the building’s rough walls and co-working office Spatial where purple surfaces pop against mint green millwork.
    The photography is by Alex Lesage.
    Project credits:
    Architecture and design: Ivy StudioConstruction: Groupe Manovra

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