Studio Nitzan Cohen



Opening: September, 2008
Where: Munich, Germany
Capacity: 85 guests
+ 100 guests outside
Floor area(m²): 220m²

Roecklplatz is a social project and a successful trainee restaurant. Similar to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, the staff are socially supported teenagers that through an extensive apprentice program attain a profession at the restaurant. A trained staff of professionals at the restaurant and another team of pedagogic advisors closely supervise the entire process.

Consequently following the project’s concept, the social orientation of it started already at the renovation phase when the workers were part of a similar trainee program in the building industry.

The space fuses two different parts, a casual, more informal area and a fine dinning à la carte. The casual part is identified by raw and almost rough material use. From Maritime Pine wood, used wherever a surface was needed (table tops, bar counter, wall cladding); continuing to rough denim fabric as upholstery, or very raw zink plated table frames which complimented well the classic Thonet S-43 tublar steel chairs.

At the later stages of planning I realized there are two elements that are missing and it would be great if they could be coupled into one.

The first of the two was the need to add an extra lighting source –more diffused and atmospheric. The other was my wish to have an extra visual element, something slightly out of the ordinary that would reflect the project’s spirit and could become an identifying visual mark.

Large lighting letters marking the letters R,K,l (Roeckl)did exactly that. They provided the space its needed ground atmospheric lighting, while at the same time being an extra ordinary (and slightly extroverted) element. The letters themselves uses the same Maritime Pine wood as base, on which hundreds of low voltage bulbs are connected.

The fine dinning area is more held back in the use of elements. It features shinny black table tops on more refined zink plated table bases together with black and dark green wooden Venus chairs (K.Grcic for Classicon). Mouth blown crystal pendulum lamps stretch the warm and soft glow of the light letter to the fine dinning area, only in a more subtle manner.

The most important element in the space, which embraces it all and binds the two areas together, is a large industrial zinc plated shelf.

The shelf is an important visual element but at the same time a pragmatic solution to a real lack of space. It is stocked with the restaurants complete wine depot, all the kitchen’s dry supplies and even fresh herbs for a later kitchen use are nourished in it.

Together with the staff and trainees we developed a basic system and visual rules as to how the shelf should be stacked, filled or changed. In slightly over two years of work this system proved itself and every time I visit the place it’s a great pleasure discovering the new surprises and small changes on the shelves.

Commission: Roecklplatz
Photography: Gerhardt Kellermann