|Restaurants, Design, Interior Design
19 Bol'shaya Zelenina Ulitsa
Photography by Sergey Melnikov
Minimalist interiors don’t have to be clinical or uninspiring as the work of architecture and interior design studio DA bureau demonstrates. For their latest project, Porto 19, a new seafood restaurant in Saint Petersburg, the team employed a rich tapestry of textures in combination with a few unexpected forms to imbue an otherwise sparse, ascetic space with a sense of wonder. Drawing inspiration from underwater and coastal landscapes, they enveloped the space in textured cement, interspersed with smooth and chiselled wooden elements, plus a couple of sculptural light pendants that resemble giant oyster shells. Add in some off-kilter counters and select rounded corners and the end result is a minimalist yet fresh and soulful space that subtly echoes the restaurant’s culinary offerings.
The main dining area is visually divided into two zones with warm, natural wood finishes on one side of the space, courtesy of wall panelling along the length of the wall, and cool, grey hues on the other. Coarsely textured cement walls and the ceiling that allude to the wave patterns on a sandy sea bed dominate the latter with white ash banquette seating complementing the monochrome aesthetic. Connecting the two zones are three free-standing wooden bar counters, positioned purposefully askew like driftwood washed ashore, a concept enhanced by their chiselled countertops.
Hovering above one of the counters, a custom-made light pendant supported by an intricate array of cables that stretch across the space makes for a dramatic focal point, more so for the fact that it looks like an enormous corral-coated oyster shell. In a nod to the seafood menu, the oyster-like lamp, along with smaller corral-coated pendant lights, also brings into focus the underwater and seashore allusions of the minimalist interiors. A second oyster lamp can be found in the adjoining private dining room where the interplay of rough and smooth textures and warm and cool hues continues.