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Mama Manana Restaurant in Kyiv by balbek bureau


Another inspiring and artistic project by the Ukrainian design studio balbek bureau. This time a spacious and full of light and lightness new spot for a Georgian restaurant. Utilizing the beauty of the historical location and unique architecture fully, the creative design team composed a well-balanced entwinement of modern and classic, light and bold, elegant and cozy. The attention towards the smallest detail and the love for the art of the design team is felt in each cozy and creative hall, level, and space of this beautiful restaurant.

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The design team added their own unique craft signature touches, respecting the space giving’s – like the wonderful arched windows, irregular brick wall structures, and dynamic space leveling. Replication of arched structures in the different cozy restaurant halls, clay wall patterns, brick floor ornaments, giving a feel of a secret garden or exotic patio space, develop a unique restaurant ambiance on the given base. The exquisite materials selection – wood, brass, textiles, craft carpets, and custom tiles combined with the mild color composition create a space of lightness, comfort, artistry, and elegance.

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The restaurant halls’ spacious feel is enhanced by the light color selections dominated by elegant crays, blond wood, pastel greens, and a natural shade of clay. We love the unique turquoise of the green tile wall segment on the second level. A bespoke creation for this project by local artisans from Detiles Mosaics. The rounded corners and the varying shapes and patterns of each tile are quite the focal point. They lead the way to the exquisite bathroom design premise.

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The welcoming vibe of the Georgina restaurant “Mama Manana”was important for the designers, so creating a warm, soft vibe in the heart of historic downtown Kyiv in a 20th-century building was probably an exciting task. One, accomplished with grease and inspiration. The first floor is a kind of dynamic fast vibe hub with rigid seating arrangement for fast lunches and yet a soft, welcoming vibe. Following the interesting brick patterns and stairs to the second level, one finds themselves in a more intimate and soothing ambiance. The brick presence on floors and stairs give a feel of a courtyard or exotic patio space.

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On the second level of this exquisite restaurant ambiance, a cozy, intimate space welcomes private parties. Metal arches and Georgian motif ornaments on the walls and ceiling create a unique banquet atmosphere, an absolute delight enhanced by the soft pastel color selection. Heavy blue velvet curtains create an even more secluded ambiance. And although secretive, intimate, and unique this floor continues the design team of the space by some subtle and playful hints; for example, the flooring of the second floor mirrors the ceiling of the first, and again an abundance of wooden custom made structure and brick patterns is supplemented by softer sitting zones and richer textile compositions. Carpets and artistic tile cladding, large wooden structure for rich wine selection, and cooper colored bar complete the second level’s social area.

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Architects: balbek bureau: Slava Balbek​, Nata Kurylenko, Uliana Dzhurliak, Liza Kormilets; Project Manager: Natasha Kozak; Project Area: 470 sq. m ; Project Year: 2020; Location: Kyiv, Ukraine; Photo credits: Yevhenii Avramenko;

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