How do you create a restaurant that feels pioneeringly decadent, yet warm and welcoming at the same time? A visit at Hilma in Stockholm will give you the answer.
Here, Tengbom’s interior design studio displayed its most innovative side, while care for the client and the visitor can be seen in every little detail.
– It is a holistic experience. Our work has included using multiple layers, extensive detail and contrasting materials and artwork. This restaurant is one fantastic roller coaster ride. Here you’ll find beauty and grotesqueness, innovation and something quite different, says Nadia Tolstoy, who is an interior designer and also took on the role of creative director for the assignment.
Cosy with an edge
The client, Generator Hostel, which has a portfolio full of design-driven hostels in trendy cities, has become known for not shying away from full-on interiors, and it was also from this that the “decadence and fetishism brief” emerged. But how do you design a “decadent interior”? And how do you combine that with the other clear desire, that Hilma should be a warm and cosy neighbourhood restaurant where everyone should feel welcome?
The solution was to zoom out a bit, and look at the world of art and fashion to see how they tackle subcultures. One clear inspiration was the artist Hilma Af Klint. The interior design circle around a contemporary Klint figure who creates tattoos with occult elements, shakes curative drinks and is a cruel figure in the DJ booth. To balance this out and create a sense of the artist’s superb treatment of colour, unexpected details are combined with warm, inviting fabrics, powdery colours and plenty of humour.
The balance is the be-all and end-all
The restaurant is divided into clear zones and a great deal of the interior design is specially aimed at being adapted to the brief and the premises.
– When the customer comes to us with a vision of an environment that really stands out, you cannot just use ready-made solutions, says Sara Persson, the interior designer in charge, who has designed everything from beds for people who want to eat lying down, splash-painted couches with stirrups, provocative light fittings, a cage that also functions as a VIP room and Instagram-friendly rope art installations.
At Hilma there is also a functioning tattoo studio as an important part of the concept. And not forgetting enticing vintage pinball machines and multi-coloured flooring. But there is also a trustworthy bar in the traditional way and quieter seating areas for people who have come for the dining experience.
The characteristic aspect of Hilma is the mixture of action and calm. Something that can also be said about the district the restaurant is located on, a corner of the capital where there is not so much going on. Yet.
– In the summer you’ll be able to eat outdoors and this will be something completely new in this area. After all, Torsgatan is in the process of being converted into a pedestrian and cycle precinct, and the area will change a great deal, says Katya Högberg, architect at Tengbom, who was in charge of the project.
– Generator often tends to choose central locations that are a little bit “unexpected”. It will be exciting to see the energy emerges when a new, hip restaurant opens that was adamant about recreating a small part of Stockholm, she continues.
– It will create a ripple effect throughout the district. And this time, we will be helping, concludes Nadia Tolstoy.
The team behind this project
- Katya Högberg Architect
- Nadia Tolstoy Interior Designer
- Martin Rangfast Business developer
- Sara Persson Interior Designer in charge
Contributing areas of expertise
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