Swedish studio Claesson Koivisto Rune converted a heritage space in Norway into a restaurant, adding an edgy mirror bar and restoring the building’s historic frescoes.

The Frescohallen restaurant was designed to highlight the history of the building. It was added to the former Norwegian Stock Exchange in Bergen, replacing a dilapidated food hall that previously occupied the space.

Claesson Koivisto Rune founded the Frescohallen restaurant

Built in 1862, the room features walls covered in large historical paintings that were dirty and damaged.

“The space housed a terrible and run-down food court,” Claesson Koivisto Rune co-founder Eero Koivisto told Dezeen. “The frescoes were quite dirty and hadn’t been cared for in decades.”

It is located in a heritage-listed room in Norway

The studio’s aim was to carry out a careful renovation of the space, leaving the existing artwork in the center of the room and restoring it to its original quality.

“The ten huge frescoes describe daily life and business in Norway at that time and were completed in 1923 by Norwegian artist Axel Revold,” Koivisto said. “The artworks have now been restored and illuminated with state-of-the-art lighting.”

The studio added a mirrored bar

In addition to showcasing the original artwork, the studio preserved the room’s existing features, including a rhythmic arrangement of olive-green columns that extend through the room and flow into a groin-vaulted ceiling decorated with red, green, and gold lacquer.

The renovation included a number of minimal changes, including the removal of modern elements that had been added to the facades and the installation of new signage and flooring.

The building’s historic frescoes have been restored

“New procedures had to be light touch and reversible,” the studio explained. “Aside from the removal of some later additions to the facades, the most important change was the new lighting and signage.”

Inside, the addition of a bar area marks the biggest change to the space. The bar is located in the center of the room and features a mirrored surface, giving guests a sweeping view of the restaurant.

Above the mirrored bar is a mezzanine dining area

“The use of mirrors allowed all guests to see the famous frescoes and the magnificent space,” said Koivisto.

Above the mirrored bar is a mezzanine dining area that serves as an elevated viewing area, offering a closer look at the surrounding artwork.

Arched windows illuminate the dining areas

Around the central bar, the studio divided the restaurant into a series of dining areas separated by granite steps and altered flooring.

The rooms include dining areas dramatically lit by large arched windows, as well as more private areas set into alcoves bordered by large paintings on several sides.

A stained carpet lines a dining area

A large rug extends through a dining area, decorated with a pattern of large dots designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune to reflect the colors of the surrounding paintings.

“The large dot pattern on the carpeting is inspired by coins – a nod to the building’s former life,” the studio explained. “All the dots in different shades of blue refer to the frescoes. In fact, all the colors introduced, including the furniture, refer to the frescoes.”

Note Design Studio creates an “unexpected” restaurant in the historic Stockholm Food Hall

The studio also designed a range of furniture for the space, including blue wooden chairs and ring-shaped fabric-covered benches that wrap around the columns.

To improve the acoustics in the restaurant, the studio added a strip of sound-absorbing panels at eye level. Located directly beneath the paintings, the material is covered by a continuous, dark curtain.

The original olive green columns were retained

“To transform the original ‘cathedral-like’ character of the space and create an ambience suitable for a restaurant and bar, modern sound-absorbing materials were installed, hidden behind a new, full-length curtain along all walls, with upholstered sofas directly underneath “, explained the studio.

“Individually designed carpets also contribute to the soft atmosphere and improve the acoustics.”

The mirrored bar was designed to give guests a sweeping view of the restaurant

Founded in 1995 by Koivisto together with Mårten Claesson and Ola Rune, Claesson Koivisto Rune is an architecture and design studio based in Stockholm.

Recent architectural projects the studio has completed include a Swedish house clad in red-painted boards made from local pine and a boutique hotel converted from a 1920s bank building in Tokyo.

The photography is by Sigurd Fandango.

Source : www.dezeen.com

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