Phill is a meeting place designed for the entire family. It has a playground, a multipurpose room and a small café at the ground floor and a gourmet restaurant at the first level.
The playground and the multipurpose room are enclosed areas with independent light and acoustic scenarios and they accommodate activities from theater and puppet shows to martial arts and ballet lessons. Upstairs, the dining area is an open space directly linked with the lobby. In between them the small café communicates visually with the playground through a couple of round openings. The functions of the program have their own agenda but at the same time they work closely together therefore the connection of the individual spaces was very important. In order to link these different rooms, the walls were perforated by transparent openings and a special attention was paid to the stairs design which climb their way to the first floor around a four meter tall elephant.
Phill’s program has been generated by the clients themselves as a possible response to their own needs regarding romanian dining out experience. This specific activities list seemed discordant at first glance - how does one associate haute cuisine, a restaurant’s atmosphere and a playground for children? Living in a world stacked with imagery that deliberately attempts to pursue the public, niched information and extremely personalized message towards the consumer makes it virtually impossible to select a minimal set of visual references that engage interest to all ages. Therefore we went out subjectively, choosing references that are appealing to us, and then adapting the concept for the space in study, hoping other people would share the same perspective. The premises for picking the design typology was, alongside our personal passion for comic book, animation and vinyl toy subcultures, the idea that kids’ perception is anything but reductionist, and adults aren’t that sober not to engage in any imaginative exercise. The elephant’s role and the overall geometry is open for interpretation, and even though we’ve had our personal story to tell, it’s far more interesting to observe the visitors creating their own response.
The space’s layout was mostly determined by: dividing two groups of activities specific to both kids and adults, binding the two, distributing the space on the two levels and the lavish backyard.
This is not the first time we’ve inserted creatures in our creations, but it’s still the most difficult thus far. First - how does one get a four meter high elephant through the doors? Even though it’s been made out of foam covered in a thin sheet of rigid material, it’s handling was partly a meticulous thought out plan, partly some sort of “world’s strongest man” competition.
The large degree of custom made elements used for this fluid design goes beyond regular interior jobs: from the circular window frames to the profiles which separate the wall paint and vinyl wallpaper designed by Studio Job, everything was individually designed and executed on demand.
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