Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

Copenhagen's Yaffa restaurant takes cues from bustling French cafes

Multi-disciplinary design studio Frama used mismatched wooden chairs and concrete surfaces to create a Middle Eastern version of the humble French bistro inside this Copenhagen restaurant.

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

Set within Copenhagen's historic Gråbrødretorv square, Yaffa has been transformed from a characterless concrete basement into a warm and inviting space decked out in tactile materials.

The restaurant takes its name from the ancient port city in Tel Aviv and offers a Middle East-inspired menu, as well as a host of dishes that make use of Mediterranean ingredients.

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

Locally based Frama – which also produces minimalist furnishings, lighting and skincare – were tasked with developing the interiors, focusing first on the narrow main dining room.

Tables with sand-blasted marble countertops have been closely nestled together along the room's peripheries in an attempt by the studio to create the same bustling atmosphere as a quaint French cafe.

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

Some tables are surrounded by Frama's 01 chair, hand-stained a nut-brown colour for a more "classic" appearance, while others are accompanied by vintage Hongisto chairs by Finnish furniture brand Artek and 69 chairs by architect Alvar Aalto.

There are also a couple of timber seating booths to accommodate larger groups of diners, softly illuminated by vintage-glass wall sconces.

Bistro-style tiled flooring runs throughout the space.

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

"A large part of the design brief from the client is that they did not want the place to look too neat or fresh and one of the ways we achieved this is through using different chairs," the studio's head designer, Cassandra Bradfield, explained to Dezeen.

"We also wanted guests to be able to sit in different environments – one where you can look and see everything happening, some a bit more private, some completely open, and others closed off."

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

An adjacent bar area is anchored by a huge concrete service counter painted with umber, pale-yellow and navy forms. Guests stopping by for a quick drink can sit here on high-back wooden stool seats also designed by Frama.

The studio opted to keep all of the space's existing rough-concrete surfaces, freshening them up with a coat of sandy-beige or moss-green mineral paint.

"I would say a lot of our products are born from a contextual need – when designing interiors, we always look at the specific site and the existing architecture," Bradfield added.

"In that sense, we are less concept-driven as much as material-driven. I think it is most important to create environments that are layered, but also quite straightforward and approachable."

Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama

Frama worked with London designer Louisa Grey earlier this year to create an installation based on the body's five senses that was displayed inside the studio's Copenhagen HQ, which occupies a 19th-century apothecary.

Photography is by Sergio Lopez.

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Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama
Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama
Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama
Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama
Yaffa restaurant, Copenhagen, designed by Frama