Dezeen Magazine

Thomas Kröger Architekt suspends copper cuboids from Berlin restaurant ceiling

Berlin studio Thomas Kröger Architekt has installed copper-clad boxes to sit above diners at this newly opened Italian bistro in the heart of Potsdamer Platz.

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

Copper-clad extraction fans and lighting hang from the ceiling of Pasta Maria, their forms echoed in the travertine stone and glass open kitchen below.

"The idea was to make the open kitchen the most important place within the restaurant, like a grand fireplace in an old castle," Thomas Kröger of Thomas Kröger Architekt told Dezeen. "We tried to have as many reflections in the copper as possible to play with form and light."

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

The pale travertine stone continues across the floor of the restaurant in direct contrast to the ceiling and duct-work, which has been painted pitch black.

"The black ceiling was chosen to put the copper completely on 'stage'," said Kröger. "As a side-effect, this simple technique of painting all technical shaft and pipework and the ceiling in one colour meant we avoided the need for a suspended ceiling, which gave us the opportunity to save budget for the built-in furniture."

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

The built-in benches are upholstered in natural untanned cowhide, which will age and redden over time to complement the bright-red lacquered Thonet chairs.

The pendant lights, developed in collaboration with a glass-maker for the restaurant, feature two coloured layers which produce an iridescent glow.

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

Blacksmith-made steel tables and stools are powder-coated in black to pick up on the ceiling colour.

The stool seats feature a black rubber inlay on top for comfort. Their shape references the form of church fonts.

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

"The name Pasta Maria was chosen in a double-sense," explained Kröger. "On the one hand you have the connection to Catholic Italian culture and on the other, the name evokes traditional simple homemade cooking by Mama."

Continuing the religious theme, fitted tables reference church pews and contain bibles and menu cards, and an oversized rendering of 14th century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights provides a conversation starter for diners.

Pasta Maria by Thomas Kroger Architekt

Photography is by Thomas Heimann.