The ‘Caffè Corto’ bistro was designed in a tenement house, which is located in the very center of Łódź and is part of the representative frontage of Piotrkowska Street. For years, the premises served as a commercial and service facility. With the change of subsequent tenants, the layout and shape changed, and unnecessary building and decorative elements accumulated inside.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor. The interior can be divided into two parts: a high representative part at the front and a two-level part with a mezzanine at the back. The levels are connected by a treatment staircase. The modest budget of the project excluded a large interference in the structure of the interior. The focus was on putting the existing state in order, and construction changes were limited to the necessary minimum.
The functional division was defined by the layout of the interior. In the high front part, a consumption room has been designed, and in the rear part – under the mezzanine – a customer service area with kitchen facilities. At the mezzanine level, an intimate relaxation zone was organized, toilets and a cleaning room were located. A new element on the mezzanine is a balustrade, which has the additional function of a bar counter. The staircase was subjected to the greatest interference. Previously formally indeterminate, after the change it is an important element of the interior. Also significant for the project is the extensive system of technical installations, which was intentionally left exposed.
The amount of materials used has been kept to a minimum. The multi-material floor was replaced with homogeneous slabs of natural terrazzo in light gray. On the walls and ceiling appeared a porous texture of scratched mineral plaster, which was painted in a dark blue color. Due to utility considerations, the lower part of the walls remained smooth. The designated strip of paneling consistently ‘wanders’ throughout the interior, visually connecting the ground floor with the mezzanine.
The interior equipment was divided into three groups. The first group is lacquered solid furniture in light gray. It is a set of simple, geometric elements such as a counter, a large table, a bench to sit on and coffee tables. The second group is movable furniture. It is a set of wooden, renovated furniture from the 1960s and modern black restaurant tables. It should be mentioned that the design uses chairs designed by Radomir Hofman – Type 514 and armchairs designed by Jindřich Halabal – Type H-227. The third group consists of lighting fixtures and elements of visual identification. A set of matching lamps and advertising coffers in brass color was used. The selected configuration of furniture and lighting creates the atmosphere of the interior.
Project: Bistro in a historic town house
Location: Łódź, PL
Architects: Tomasz Berezowski, Dyrda Fikus Architekci
Team: Tomasz Berezowski, Marta Dyrda, Radosław Fikus
Photography: Bartłomiej Osiński