|Design, Interior Design
Scenically situated right on the Odra riverbank in downtown Wrocław in western Poland, MARTIM is a Portuguese restaurant tiptoeing between land and water. Inspired by the cosmopolitan vibe of its cuisine, which infuses Portuguese classics with flavours from India, Brazil and Japan, local practice BUCK.STUDIO took advantage of the riverside location to transform the restaurant’s interior into a conceptual sea voyage - a tribute to Portugal’s seafaring accomplishments during the age of discovery. Swathed in colours and textures that echo Portugal’s identity, the restaurant’s sophisticated interior is imbued with subtle references that evocatively echo the culinary journey that the patrons are about to embark upon.
Even before you enter the restaurant, you get to see the Chef and his team in action, courtesy of the open kitchen and the all-glass building façade, which instantly conveys MARTIM’s unpretentious character. On the left of the entrance, the Chef’s table allows more detailed views into the kitchen and a chance to chat with the Chef, while a small bar area on the other side leads you to the main dining room on the back. Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glazing on three sides, and mirrors on the fourth, the dining room is inundated by expansive views of both the river and the city which completely erase the distinction between inside and outside.
Inspired by docks, the open kitchen, the Chef’s table and bar area espouse an industrial vibe with steel wine cabinets, stainless steel kitchen equipment, terrazzo floor, ceramic tiles and plastic strip curtains. Buffered by a cork-clad corridor, the dining room, on the other hand, has a dreamier, more refined aesthetic with soft leather banquette seating, elegant chairs and tables, and glass light pendants. Surrounded by views of the river and decked in long teak wood floorboards the space evokes a ship mid-voyage with the dark green perforated ceiling echoing the surface of the river.
The predominant ocean green colour palette further enhances the sense of traveling on water but as importantly evokes the shades of Portugal, as does the deep red of the bar counter, which was inspired by Portugal’s rich wine culture, and the earthy tones of the cork that clads the buffer zone – cork also being one of the country’s most characteristic natural products.
Intimately tied to the interior design, MARTIM’s visual identity and tableware take cues from the sea voyage concept and Portuguese-themed finishes. While the artworks reference modern traveling in the form of tickets and timetables, the restaurant’s white-painted ceramic tableware has been especially hand-crafted by a Portuguese artisan, bringing Portuguese craftsmanship to every table. The same artisan also created the shoal of ceramic fish that welcomes patrons by the entrance. Set in a glowing glass cube, the aquarium-like installation embodies the restaurant’s mission to channel Portugal’s soul in Wrocław.