A light installation by designer Germans Ermičs, a futuristic waiters station by studio Destroyers Builders, and tatami blinds by artist Mae Englegeer all feature inside this new Antwerp restaurant. Named Blueness, the design of the space has been overseen by Danish studio Space Copenhagen in collaboration with chef and restaurateur Sergio Herman. Throughout, the team sought to marry contemporary detailing with the historic interior architecture, which dates back to the 17th century.

Blueness is located in Antwerp’s fashion district, around the corner from the boutiques of Louis Vuitton and Rimowa. When visiting the building, the team at Space Copenhagen was inspired by its renaissance style, which was rich in grandeur, and aimed to pull it into the present day through the use of a modern Scandinavian design aesthetic.

They partly went about this by enlisting the help of designers and artists, to create fixtures and installations that would provide a duality between the old and new. In the dining room, light is provided via the sculptural “Candlelight Chandelier”, which has been cast in brass by artist Valentin Loellmann and features four disc-shaped arms on which groups of candles are placed. Latvian designer Germans Ermičs – whose early work included the “Ombré Chair” – has created four pieces for the space. The first is situated by the main staircase and, in his signature aesthetic, moves from darker to lighter tones as guests travel towards the basement. In there, they will find the remaining installations, which see colourful lights behind the building’s old wrought metal bars.

Back upstairs, Dutch artist Mae Englegeer has crafted bespoke tatami drapes for the window, while a custom bar by Destroyers Builders has been made from deep red walnut wood and features soft curves on its edges. The Brussels and Antwerp-based studio also created the steel bar and a futuristic waiter’s station in cast aluminium. Throughout the building, furniture designed by Space Copenhagen for various brands is used – from the “Loafer” dining chairs for &Tradition, upholstered in sand-coloured canvas, to high bar stools for Frederica Furniture.

Space Copenhagen co-founder, Signe Bindslev Henriksen said:

“More than anything this project has been shaped by a series of very intuitive processes, from our very first thoughts about the design of the restaurant, carried through to the end result.

The design process has been fueled by the fragmented history of the 17th-century renaissance building and the ongoing dialogue between the team and the commissioned artists central to the final design.”

Elsewhere in design news, Studio Ossidiana has created a floating art gallery for the Dutch city of Almere.

Lange Gasthuisstraat 11
2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
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