Project name: BIO MY BIO
DA bureau: Anna Lvovskaia, Boris Lvovskiy, Fedor Goreglyad, Maria Romanova
Project team: Anna Lvovskaia, Boris Lvovskiy, Fedor Goreglyad, Maria Romanova, Julia Kubitskaya
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Voznesenskiy pr. 6A
Year of implementation: 2020
Area: 304 m2
Timescales: 5 months
Photography: Sergey Melnikov
Description from architects firm DA Bureau:
Bio My Bio is much more than just a café. This is Matilda Shnurova’s new project which represents a hybrid of a restaurant and an art object dedicated to the growing awareness of today.
The format of the restaurant is aimed at young people who follow the latest trends in nutrition and healthy lifestyle. The menu is completely free of sugar, gluten and lactose – a challenging solution for the restaurant industry. At the same time, the cuisine concept is delicious daily meals at a reasonable price. This ambitious task was to be met with a highly unconventional interior solution.
The restaurant concept was inspired by the projects that involveinvolving light coloristics and a foliage pattern play.
This includes the light installations by James Turrell which inspired rapper Drake to create the scenery for one of his most popular music videos, and the compositions by Olafur Eliasson that bring together art, science and natural phenomena.
As for the floral motifs, they were inspired by GUCCI campaigns and numerous paintings of flowers by Jonas Wood, a contemporary American artist.
The result of a mix of these reference motifs is a space-embodied voluminous foliage pattern in the form of huge leaves that surrounding the restaurant hall is decorated with.
When entering the venue, guests get immersed into a totally surreal atmosphere which can at times evoke a feeling of fairy-tale-like unreality of everything around them. Visitors may feel being conveyed to the Thumbelina tale, which is prompted by one of the numerous Easter eggs veiled as part of the project.
The leaves were created by the Mariinsky Theatre’s decorators – the people who see fairy tales as a second reality. Owing to the designer-created art objects, the restaurant has gained a high popularity on Instagram, which is highly important for such audacious projects as Bio My Bio.
The second important aspect of the project was light coloristics. Originally, all the walls in the restaurant are light grey and neutral. The varicoloured backlighting envelops the entire space and transforms it according to the desired mood. The dimmable coloured light is reminiscent of a modern art museum or of Kanye West’s music studio.
We also wanted to emphasise the continuity of style and the Russian specifics that permeate all of Matilda’s projects.
Among such Easter eggs are the image of a menu from the coronation of Nicholas II, executed after a drawing by Viktor Vasnetsov in the form of a parchment scroll, painted on one of the walls; huge golden tables in the centre of the halls; bar counters and stools made of raw poplar trunks, as well as… Well, we would rather not spoil the game: try to find the remaining eye-catching items yourself. The idea of environmental friendliness that we have introduced into the interior is not constrained to reusing a certain amount of plastic. The more important idea for us was to popularize the concept of reusing and recycling through creating an example demonstrating that this can be incredibly beautiful.
As a result, we created an utopia together with Matilda, a fascinating fairy tale and an environmental manifesto. As a result of this collaboration, we managed to create not just an interior within the available space, but an unparalleled visual attraction that captivates a visitor with any contemplated detail and serves as a perfect embodiment of the conceptual design of the venue and its cuisine.
The atmosphere within the project creation was vibrant all the way, absorbing in terms of its complexity, vividity and entwinement of motives.