Interior design: Space Copenhagen
Designer, artists: Sabine Marcelis, Maarten Baas, Bertjan Pot, Frederik Molenschot, Rotganzen, Rinus Van De Velde Rotganzen, SH19
Furnishings: custom made by Space Copenhagen, Fredericia
Photo credits: Peter Paul de Meijer, Marjorie-Romeijn, Pim Top
“We were fascinated by Renaissance architecture, history, and the artists in this region, the way they depicted rural settings, people eating, enjoying a meal with a sense of humility.” An intuitive approach taken by Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou, founders of Space Copenhagen, for the construction of the restaurant Le Pristine in Antwerp. A project that brings together the prize-winning chef Sergio Herman and the Belgian luxury brand Verso, whose boutique is located inside the same structure, 445 sqm on the ground floor of a modernist building from the 1960s.
An open social experience created for the inhabitants of the city and tourists, imagined by the Danish duo that starts with human behavior to blaze new trails, balancing opposites: classic and modern, industrial and organic, sculptural and minimal, light and shadow, dualism and contrast. All with a sense of slow aesthetics as a vehicle for socializing in Antwerp, alongside creative collaborations with artists and designers orchestrated for the occasion. The result is a composition of various decidedly energetic elements.
The interiors host a collage of historical references and contemporary palettes, taking their cue from the Flemish and Dutch masters, with pale colors, warm red and rust tones, shades of black, milky white, sand and gray. Warm and inviting, the entrance features a bakery, for a convivial tone, with a traditional wood-burning oven, a floor with motifs in Belgian stone, smoked oak, industrial steel beams and a concrete staircase.
Here visitors encounter a bar in translucent pink resin, for a length of seven meters, and the work Dawn Light, both by Sabine Marcelis. Another counter is also theatrical, that of the reception area designed by Maarten Baas and Bertjan Pot, using an exclusive technique – LEDS Clay – developed by the two creators. The lighting is dramatic as well, with the sculptural installation Hacked Cheese, five meters high, by Frederik Molenschot, or the work by the design collective Rotganzen, Quelle Fête (three disco balls cast to size), and the monumental charcoal drawing on canvas, 3×3.6 meters, As Much as You Are Forever Connecting, by Rinus Van De Velde, depicting the energy of a restaurant, its disorder, the conversations, the cleaning. A collection of custom tables and seats has been designed by Space Copenhagen, like the Antwerp Chair of the Danish brand Fredericia, while the tablecloths and napkins in Belgian linen are by the concept studio SH19, alongside fabrics by the Flemish company Verilin.