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AKZ Architectura Transforms A Ground Floor Apartment Into An Understated Cafe In Kiev

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Bowl Cafe
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Ukranian firm AKZ Architectura has renovated a 1930s residential apartment into a minimal cafe in Kiev, Ukraine: ‘Bowl’ uses its long, narrow site as an open-plan and communal hospitality venue that aims to usurp the design stereotypes prevalent in former Soviet Ukraine’s archaic system.

The typical Soviet-style layout of affordable, state-run venues encompassed separated areas with dimly-lit passages and nooks where visitors sat isolated from one another, drab interiors, faded paint, and red-colored ornamentation—an appropriated color and international symbol of Communism. “In order to challenge the post-Soviet system, common ergonomic space was created by merging zones for eating and for relaxation,” explains the firm of their design decision. The cafe’s dimensions were challenging, yet its configuration maximizes its constraints. The primary design feature of ‘Bowl’ is its metal mesh construction, formed by a long communal bench, with chairs, stools, and dining tables made from the metal, and topped by glass slabs. This industrial aesthetic is backdropped by stuccoed walls with exposed patches of bricks, a gray marble service counter, and a single fiddle-leaf fig, softening the austere interior. The cafe’s menu is characterized by its various bowls filled with fruits and vegetables, in addition to filter coffee and smoothies.

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Image © Lesha Yanchenkov

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Image © Lesha Yanchenkov

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Image © Polina Podobedova

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Image © Lesha Yanchenkov

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Image © Lesha Yanchenkov

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Image © Polina Podobedova

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Image © Polina Podobedova

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Image © Polina Podobedova

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Image © Polina Podobedova