Based in Chişinău, the capital of Moldova, Anna Wigandt created a space with the specific purpose of studying science. The brightly lit room features a dark blue ceiling that provides dramatic contrast against light walls and a chevron-patterned grey floor, which provides a subtle graphic element. But what immediately catches a viewer’s attention is the central ceiling fixture, an immense metal grid surrounding a chandelier.
The designer’s inspiration, interestingly enough, dates back to the late 1500’s, when Kepler published Mysterium Cosmographicum. His book supported the Copernican theory that the universe was centred around the sun, rather than the earth; Kepler believed that the planets’ orbits could be explained in terms of interrelated polyhedral shapes, so he created a diagram to illustrate his idea. This graphic concept provides a foundation for the room’s central features: a modular conference table with interlocking geometric sections is placed beneath a dynamic square grid that frames a custom chandelier – in essence, the “sun” of the room. The chandelier features more than 400 test tubes arranged in a classic waterfall format, with LEDs to provide illumination.
Along one side of the room, a patterned wall features compartments hidden behind geometric doors, encouraging exploration and curiosity. In front, a long black table is embedded with inserts and shelves which hold the cafe’s self-service wares. A dedicated book wall is organized and labeled according to topic, from astronautics to mechanical engineering to shipbuilding, while a bank of large windows brightens the outer wall. Naturally, an abundance of seating ensures that cafe guests can stay to enjoy their surroundings – which would be, no doubt, an additional topic of conversation.