In 2016, young Dutch restauranteurs Lode van Zuylen and Stijn Remi opened their eponymous and inaugural venture in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district: Lode & Stijn. The restaurant was a hit. With its “causal yet refined” atmosphere complimented by a mouth-watering array of ever-changing regional (and seasonal) dishes, the eatery continues to be a staple of the city’s culinary scene. For their second outpost, fittingly titled REMI, the pair tapped local studio Ester Bruzkus Architekten to craft a graphic and tailored addition to their growing gastronomic portfolio that brought the long-time friends back to their roots.
On the ground floor of German publishing house Suhrkamp Verlag’s new headquarters, REMI stakes its place behind the building’s grand floor-to-ceiling windows. After being approached by Suhrkamp Verlag about opening a new restaurant in the Roger Bundschuh-designed structure, the duo immediately jumped at the opportunity. “We were excited and honoured,” Van Zuylen recalls. “We always wanted to create a Lode & Stijn family.”
Complimenting the soaring ceilings and exposed concrete structure, the team, lead by principal Ester Bruzkus, fitted the 230-square-metre space with a number of striking elements that elevate industrial materials with a distinctly bespoke handling. Self-described as a “lively brasserie,” the restaurant is wrapped in a panoply of materials.
Upon entry, a triangular reception desk in burgundy-stained MDF and topped with richly veined Brazilian marble hints at the monochromatic millwork tucked behind the rippling full height curtain that sets off the reception from the rest of the eatery.
Further inside, a central open kitchen anchors the dining room, flanked by custom laminate, steel and plywood tables and alternating natural ash and turmeric-coated Bondi chairs by Fräg Woodall. Below a perforated metal-wrapped bulkhead (which conveniently conceals mechanical services), a linear counter of ruby-red cabinetry runs along the entire width of the kitchen.
Another U-shaped work surface behind features integrated shelving for glassware and bottles, complimented by two nearby host stations and an adjacent millwork unit with porous powder-coated metal compartments.
“An important goal of the design was to retain the feeling of openness that comes from the high exposed concrete ceilings and the expansive glass fronts on either side of the restaurant,” says the studio.
Custom-designed linear luminaires (nodding to the darting conduits lining the ceiling) and track lighting paired with high-back, treated plywood banquets running along the windows (completed with mustard-yellow Kvadrat upholstery) all highlight the space’s industrial bones.
“We were inspired by the grand cafes of our home,” says Remi of the direction behind their collaboration. “We wanted to create a place where you could meet easily — whether for reading the newspaper, a quick lunch, or an intimate dinner.” And, with the help of Bruzkus’ team, the duo suceeded. Like their regionally-infused fare, REMI is set to be a local classic.
Designed with local studio Ester Bruzkus Architekten, the new outpost for Dutch restaurateurs Lode van Zuylen and Stijn Remi boasts rich details that elevate its humble materials.