Homes & Design Photo Credit: Ema Peter

Design Crush: Bauhaus Restaurant

Concrete, brick and leather make a beautiful team.

When you name a restaurant “Bauhaus,” the design direction isn’t exactly going to be a puzzle. But the simplicity of the German modernist design movement is deceptive—it takes a lot of thought to create minimalism that’s still welcoming. So designer Andrea Greenway was a smart choice to take on the Vancouver room; as her previous work demonstrates (West Oak, Nosh Cafe) she’s got a knack for creating warm, stylish restaurant spaces.

Working with a heritage building in Gastown gave the project a few challenges. “We had to work around bank safes, beams and brick—things that aren’t necessarily part of German modernism,” says Greenway. These obstacles, though, were embraced, not covered up. “We wanted to respect the architecture of the space—the brick, the sandstone and the steel columns are so cool. The safe even has bullet holes in the top,” the designer explains. “So we worked to balance everything by putting elements in that could speak to both design languages.”

That meant bringing in leather seats, which relate to the brick walls as much as the Bauhaus-style tubular steel chair frames. Linear lights—custom designed in collaboration with Matthew McCormick—are rigid and angular, but offer a soft light that gives the whole restaurant a beautiful glow. In fact, they’re Greenway’s favourite part of the space. “I truly believe that there’s an intrinsic sense of balance you need to hit, so that when guests are in the space, they feel peaceful and sexy,” she says. “You can put in the most beautiful materials but if you don’t have proper layered lighting it falls flat.”

With double-height ceilings, Greenway needed to find something to fill up the vertical space, so she turned to lighting designer Matthew McCormick to create a custom installation of hanging linear lamps. "They're so sleek, they offset the brick," she says.
With double-height ceilings, Greenway needed to find something to fill up the vertical space, so she turned to lighting designer Matthew McCormick to create a custom installation of hanging linear lamps. “They’re so sleek, they offset the brick,” she says.
A sheer concrete wall contrasts beautifully against the crumbling brick. "It looks good when it’s bare, and it helps make things multi-dimensional," says Greenway.
A sheer concrete wall contrasts beautifully against the crumbling brick. “It looks good when it’s bare, and it helps make things multi-dimensional,” says Greenway.
Walnut banquettes and oak flooring add a layer of warmth to a space full of industrial materials.
Walnut banquettes and oak flooring add a layer of warmth to a space full of industrial materials.
An integrated iPad fits right into the custom copper host deck at the entrance of the restaurant. "I think I’m having a moment with copper," says Greenway. "It’s wearing in and oxidizing, right behind is stainless steel shelving."
An integrated iPad fits right into the custom copper host deck at the entrance of the restaurant. “I think I’m having a moment with copper,” says Greenway. “It’s wearing in and oxidizing, right behind is stainless steel shelving.”
The key to creating a mood? It's all about the lighting. "Indirect lighting is what makes a place photograph well," says Greenway. "It's lighting that makes you want to be on Instagram."
The key to creating a mood? It’s all about the lighting. “Indirect lighting is what makes a place photograph well,” says Greenway. “It’s lighting that makes you want to be on Instagram.”

 

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