Studio Nitzan Cohen


Schirn Kunsthalle’s TABLE

Opening: April, 2009
Where: Schrin Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
Capacity: 160 guests
+120 guests outside
Floor area(m²): 530m²

Schirn Kunsthalle vs. TABLE? Chef restaurant vs. Museum café? Design vs. art? No. But yes! Beneath this project lie those contradicting and at times conflicting elements, in a what started as a think-tank project in collaboration with Stylepark and was further developed into reality.

Previously known as the Schirn Café, it was the highlight of the Frankfurter restaurant scene of the 80s’. Since then its glory and looks has faded away, until spring 2009, when it was re-opened under the name of TABLE – A museum café come chef restaurant.

Defined as a massive postmodern monument, the Schirn Kunsthalle is true to its time. Stone, glass, cement and steel are the only materials present. All of which led us to understand that whatever we did here, could only work if the dominant surrounding architecture ‘approved’.

Creating a dialogue with the existing materials and at the same time adding a strong accent, we worked with Terrazzo as a main material.

Seeing it as an industrial and economic stone.

By carefully placing custom designed furniture and objects we tried to compliment the architecture as well as cater to the new functions and needs of the space.

The central element in the space is a dark green, three dimensional molded, terrazzo bar which wraps around the main staircase leading to the upper and lower floors. Made of 60 cm wide visible sections, the bar is massive and omnipresent yet conveys relative lightness thanks to the visibility of its sections.

In front of the bar, with the same dark green shade, an extra large round terrazzo table (hosting 16-20 chairs) continues the terrazzo landscape.

Playing with the extreme height of the space and bringing intimacy to the entrance area (the ceiling is 15 meters high), we placed a curtain around the round terrazzo table. Through a motor in the ceiling the curtain sails up or down, creating a closed, semi closed or just a suggested room around the table.

There are also black industrial trolleys disguised as the classical cake trolleys or thick powder coated black pipe structures as wardrobes and an army of highly polished brass tables with varying heights and top surface contours.

Further reading and images of the one-off elements in the project:

Chandelier and flying curtain, 3d Molded Terrazzo bar, XXL Terrazzo table, Wardrobe, Industrial cake trolley

Commission: Schirn Kunsthalle, Nykke&Kokki, Stylepark
Team: Caroline Perret, Gerhardt Kellermann
Photography: Gerhardt Kellermann