Part of the ambitious conversion project for the Red October Factory on Bersenevskaya Embankment was the opening of a cozy Italian restaurant called Bontempi in 2010. The restaurant has an outstanding chef and a magnificent view of the River Moskva – and since 2012 it also boasts a summer veranda on the roof.
- to reconstruct the old building and transform it into a family restaurant;
- to expand as much as possible the building’s interior space within the confines of the limited floor area and budget.
This ruin presented us with the need for some very complicated reconstruction work. We turned everything that we managed to save from the old building into a two-level space. We also increased the height of the storeys. In order to compensate for the lack of floor area, we built a kitchen inside what used to be an archway and added an annex consisting of two sea-freight containers for use as toilets and storage rooms.
During the reconstruction project we thought about how to make the restaurant feel larger. By raising the ceiling we increased the ceiling height on the first (ground) floor. On the second floor we removed the ceiling between this storey and the attic, completely reassembled it, and insulated the roof.
We decided to let more natural light into the restaurant. On the first floor we turned all the windows into hinged doors, thus expanding the view of the restaurant’s surroundings. On the second floor we embedded mansard windows in the surface of the roof.
The first and second floors are connected by a staircase which is separated from the main room by an elegant colonnade of pipes. The new staircase is one of the many new functional parts that had to be completely reconstructed.
We were designing an Italian family restaurant, so we naturally wanted to inject as much sunlight and bright colour as possible. As our main colour we took an uplifting shade of orange, using it to decorate the walls, mirrors, and lamps. The multicoloured circles on the first floor turn to circular mirrors on the second.
The design of the lamps was initially regarded as a temporary decision, but became so popular that we rejected our original idea for lampshades; the client even began using these lamps for other projects.
Another point of emphasis in the interior design is natural materials. For the finishes we used wood in natural shades: wooden frames, wooden window surrounds, doors, floors, furniture, and beams.
The restaurant has an open kitchen, around which is a chef’s table. Guests can take a seat at the counter, observe the chef at work, and talk to him.