In one of the Warsaw’s famous spots Elektrownia Powiśle, TV host Mateusz Gessler has opened a place with his original cuisine, combining the best culinary traditions of Asia and Europe. He entrusted the esteemed Boris Kudlicka with Partners architectural studio. The famous architects decided to create a modern, comfortable and nonchalantly cozy space, which seems to play with the traditional elegance.
The restaurant’s premises, somewhat hidden from the hustle and bustle of the Elektrownia’s interior, provide an ideal place for both a casual lunch and a more formal evening meeting.
Exquisite cuisine and architecture have much in common. They combine individual components into a whole, closely related to the existing cultural context and creativity. It’s easy to understand how cultures have changed over time by observing how their cuisine has evolved; the same can also be said of architecture. In both cases, the final product is based on human interaction, coming to life through personal experience.
The mutual understanding, the studio’s experience in creating restaurant interiors and respect for the historic fabric of the former Elektrownia, made Mateusz Gessler decide without hesitation to entrust the design of his next restaurant to the hands of Boris Kudlicka and his team.
The very shape of the building; almost 45m long and a little over 6m wide, proved to be a considerable functional challenge for the architects. When constructing the space, the colors defined by the shades of water were relied on, and the body of the building itself evokes a loose association with a ship, aboard which Mateusz Gessler takes you on a cruise through the unique flavors of two continents.
The first material connotation with electricity is the copper motif, which is where the distinctive pattern of copper lines on the blue floor came from, which go to the wall pillars and become wall sconces. The water motif also defined the main color scheme of the premises. It appears through the use of special glass lampshades, which through their structure mimic the reflections of water, and the use of corrugated steel with a structure that resembles the slightly agitated surface of the sea.
The building, as it were, “forced” the central position of the bar, which loosely refers to the ship through its shape and proportions. While working on the design concept, inspiration was sought in the marine depths of the underwater world. The starting motif was jellyfish, their unobvious colors and shapes.
“We wouldn’t be ourselves if there wasn’t a surreal element in the interior, deviating from the main theme. In this case, it was an installation inspired by a gate to a funfair. It’s what lights up the interior in the evenings, putting guests in a more clubby mood during weekends,” – says Agata Motyka, the architect responsible for the project. At first, the design of the art installation in the tower area was more literal, but over time it took on a more abstract, but still multicolored form.
“Our design philosophy is sometimes described as ‘sublime comfort,’ and we think there is some truth in that. In the restaurants we design, we like to create emotions reminiscent of going to the theater. Escapism takes us, in the case of DOCK 19 restaurant, from the streets of Powiśle to a slightly different world. Guests of the culinary ship, led by Mateusz Gessler, “sink” into the unforced atmosphere of the place and the fantastic dishes often served by Mateusz himself. The restaurants we designed, such as DOCK 19, Epoka at the Raffles Hotel and Belvedere, are meant to make your stay a culinary and visual feast.” – say Weronika Libiszowska and Rafał Otłog, architects and co-owners of Warsaw-based Boris Kudlicka studio.