Karls Kitchen by Concrete Architectural Associates

karls kitchen by Concrete Architectural Associates
© Ewout Huibers

Short story of Karls Kitchen by Concrete Architectural Associates:
Karls kitchen is the new restaurant of luxury department store Breuninger in Stuttgart. The kitchen is the free-flow restaurant’s central element. The entrance to the restaurant is characterized by large glass fridges with fresh products that also function as a display window.

The guest’s initial experience is on coming in, walking through the kitchens, barely separated from the preparation of fresh products by a large glass wall.
To the left you can see exclusive sandwiches, fresh salads and homemade desserts being prepared. On the right you can take a peek into the warm kitchens, where traditional local classics, Asian and European specialities are prepared. The dishes, which change daily, are presented on a row of screens above the two kitchen counters.

The materials used reference the classic kitchen of grandma’s time; white tiles, black natural stone in combination with a terrazzo floor. The modern design in combination with new materials such as glass and stainless steel create a modern design with a link to the classic kitchen.

Opposite the kitchens is the bar, a free-standing element between the free-flow restaurant and the seating area. The bar’s function is twofold: on the kitchen side, cakes and pastries made in-store, fresh juices and beverages are offered.
The bar adjacent to the lounge area tempts one to sit at the bar and enjoy a nice glass of wine, a glass of local beer or one of our coffee specialities.
The materials used for the bar create a connection between the restaurant and the kitchen. The bar is made of wooden tiles in the same dimensions as the kitchen tiles, on top of which is a black natural stone surface, creating a warm appearance and being functional at the same time.

The restaurant is divided into 3 different seating areas, each with its own identity and character. First of all there is the traditional seating area, which refers to Breuninger’s history and the traditions within the department store, as well as in Stuttgart. The modern seating area represents the Stuttgart of today, and the Lounge is the refuge and, at the same time, the connection between the modern and the traditional seating areas.
An overarching element connecting the spaces to one another is one long wall with graphic wallpaper. Where walls are interrupted by glass panels or doors, the glass is decorated with the same print, but transparent, thereby maintaining the overall image.
The lounge;

The Lounge area in the middle of the space is directly adjacent to the bar. The lounge has a relaxed atmosphere with low lounge chairs and an extra long black leather sofa. In the middle a hanging open hearth provides an intimate feel. The lounge-character is reinforced by a lowered black vertical strip ceiling and a dark-grey wooden floor.
The lounge is linked directly to the terrace by means of the vertical panel ceiling which runs from inside to outside. The outside panels also serve as an awning.

The terrace’s wooden floor is continued inside, forming a long table along the façade, allowing one to enjoy the view of Stuttgart from indoors as well.

karls kitchen by Concrete Architectural Associates
© Ewout Huibers

The modern restaurant;
The modern seating area is defined by contemporary materials, such as Corian, light-coloured leather, chrome in combination with dark wood.
The central element is a furniturepiece in the middle of the room. It comprises long sofas with light leather upholstery connected by a high cabinet. In this cabinet there are cooking utensils in silver and chrome which reflect towards the modern character.

The dark wooden floor creates a subtle contrast with the light furniture. The custom-made hanging lamps, with the different dimensions and shades of green, provide a playful touch.

The traditional restaurant;
The traditional part is a modern interpretation of an original ‘Bierstube’. The central element here is the ‘Stammtisch’ (table for the regulars). This is one big table from which pieces have been cut for the sofas. The solid-oak top contrasts with the white legs, which are made of Corian. In total the table provides seating space for 34 people. In the middle of the table there is, just like in the modern section, a high cabinet up to the ceiling.
This cabinet is filled with coloured red products such as kitchenware and local souvenirs. The red recurs in a number of chairs, which provide a hint of colour between the white furniture.

Above each table hang two lamps. These resemble a classic embroidered lampshade from grandma’s time. What is unique about the lamps is that they are made of white porcelain with a red iron cable. It thereby ties in with the concept of an old-fashioned product with a contemporary twist.
The white bare oak floors of the traditional section reinforce the light atmosphere.

The children’s play corner is right next to the traditional seating area. It is a kind of open box made of the same white wood as the floor. Red cushions, beanbags and stickers with red animals on the glass side walls create a playful touch.

There is a dedicated parking place for pushchairs with a parking meter.

Private kitchen
Alongside the three seating areas there is the restaurant’s private kitchen, which can be closed off by means of a sliding glass door. The room has its own free-standing cooker and can be used for cooking workshops, parties, presentations or business meetings. The materials, such as the white tiles and the kitchenware along the walls, partly come from the kitchen. The dark wooden floor and a black ceiling create an intimate, informal atmosphere.


The graphic identity of karls kitchen has been inspired by Lexicon (the international dictionary font) so as to be able to describe or define all ingredients in the restaurant concept.

A direct development of this is transcribed onto the connecting wall between the kitchen and the seating area. The ingredients for the recipes and dishes available in karls kitchen kitchens form the basis for this wall’s graphic design.

A row of screens above the kitchens and the bar constitute a second element where the graphic identity recurs in the interior. A bar code runs over the entire width of the screens, thus providing a certain dynamism. The colours have been based on the seasons. They go from light pink to deep red and from bright green to a dark, mossy green colour. The same colours recur in the restaurant’s seating areas.

A random selection of elements where the graphic identity can be seen:
Menus, signage, service, serviettes, house style and company uniform.


floor: The entire restaurant is fitted with smooth, oak floors, with a different finish for each seating area (white, grey and black) Chene de l’est.
kitchen: terrazzo tiles (colour custom-made), 60x60cm
toilets: floor tiles Mosa, beige and brown, 15x60cm

ceiling: The entire restaurant is fitted with a white acoustic plasterboard ceiling, except the more intimate areas have a dark ceiling. The lounge is fitted with a dark wood vertical panel ceiling, the kitchens have a black metal ceiling and the private kitchen has its ceiling painted black

wall: custom-made wallpaper, concrete’s design produced by Berlintapete

interior: custom-made furnishings, such as the ‘Stammtisch’, the children’s corner, the sofas and the tables, were designed by Concrete and produced by Van Bergh, interior builder.

lighting: The green hanging lamps in the modern section were specially designed by Concrete and produced by Baulmann.
In the lounge area, the hanging lamp by Raimond van Moooi and the Base standard lamp from Tom Dixon create the intimate atmosphere.
The porcelain lamps above the ‘Stammtisch’ come from a Dutch ceramics studio.
In the kitchen section and the walking areas, spotlights with close lighting bundles provide a theatrical effect.

Karls Kitchen by Concrete Architectural Associates

furniture: There is a choice of various chairs for each guest. Nearly all the tables and chairs have something classical with a modern interpretation. The chair and the InOut bar stool from Gervasoni have a very simple form but are made of aluminium.
The Morph van Zeitraum chair in the modern seating area is made of walnut.
The tables and AVL benches in the traditional section are from Moooi.
The white and red wooden chairs in this area are from Gervasoni.
The Ray black leather lounge chairs and the DLM metal tables are from Hay. The outdoor furniture from the Tio series is from Massproduction.

project: karls kitchen
client: E. Breuninger GmbH & Co.

designer: Concrete Architectural Associates
office address: Rozengracht 133 III
postal code: 1016LV Amsterdam
country: Nederland
telephone: +31 (0)20 5200200
e-mail: info@concreteamsterdam.nl

project location:
address: Marktstraße 1-3, 70173 Stuttgart
website: www.karlskitchen.de

project information:
project team: Rob Wagemans, Melanie Knüwer, Charlotte Key, Erik van Dillen, Sofie Ruytenberg (graphic design)

interior: von Bergh GmbH
furniture: Zeitraum, Gervasoni, Moooi, Hay, Massproduction
lighting: Tom Dixon, Moooi, Arnhems Keramik Atelier, Baulmann

photography: Ewout Huibers

total area: 1000 m2 (+ 40m2 terrace)
seats: 400 (+ 32 terrace)
date: october 2010

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