Crosby Studios completes Moscow restaurant with Memphis-inspired exterior
The exterior of this Moscow restaurant features a Memphis-inspired pattern, while the interior contains a mixture of old and new details designed to evoke the experience of dining in Israel (+ slideshow).
The restaurant serves up traditional Israeli cuisine, so Moscow-based design office Crosby Studios wanted to create an interior that would transport its customers to Florentin, a creative district in Tel Aviv.
But the two co-founders, Harry Nuriev and Dmitry Vorontsov, are also big fans of the Memphis Group – the collective led by Postmodern designer Ettore Sottsass in the 1980s – so decided to reference this on the building's exterior.
These two influences provide an unusual contrast, made even more unusual by the building's setting in the Russian capital.
The restaurant is named Dizengof 99, referencing a cult film about Israeli youth. It occupies a small stand-alone structure, which the designers have completely refurbished.
The pattern chosen to cover the building's original brick exterior comprises a black background speckled with small white rectangles, reminiscent of one of Sottsass' most famous designs.
"It was a simple choice – we love Memphis pattern," Vorontsov told Dezeen.
A side entrance leads into the building, which is divided into two spaces. The dining area is located at the front, while a bar runs across the middle, concealing the kitchen and toilets at the rear.
"The atmosphere is unusual for Moscow," added Nuriev. "The big windows allow for a lot of light, and you're immediately reminded of the warm Tel Aviv in the middle of the Moscow winter."
Before the renovation could begin, the space was stripped bare and original partitions were demolished. The walls were then partially covered with corrugated roofing panels, which are painted white.
Traces of the former partitions are still visible above, creating stripes of brick amidst the ageing plasterwork.
Veneered wooden panels were used to build the new bar, which forms a large hollow rectangle. Some tables are also covered in this material, while others are topped with white ceramic tiles.
Black plastic chairs provide seating at both the tables and the bar.
"We used the cheapest chairs, the kind you might find in a Chinatown takeaway place," said Nuriev. "We covered them in powder paint and the seats were fitted with new cloth."
A panel of translucent reinforced glass allows light but not views into the bathrooms. Other details include spherical wall lights and a wooden bench seat.
"The core of the design is a contrast of old and new, in monochrome colours," added the architect.
Dizengof 99 is located near the Taganka metro station in a courtyard of Moscow's Garden Ring – the home of a number of new restaurants.
Other recent additions to the city include a seven-storey office block by the late Zaha Hadid and the polycarbonate-clad Garage Museum of Contemporary Art by Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA.
Photography is by Gleb Leonov.