Two years ago, Lagranja design studio in Barcelona undertook an ambitious project in Istanbul. The challenge consisted in the conversion of Turkey’s first beer company into a modern brewery with an industrial overall look, inspired by the graphic language of the Prohibition period. The result was The Populist, located in the Bomonti area, restaurant acclaimed by Time Out as the best place to be in Istanbul.
Lagranja Design now completed the second restaurant for the same brand. This time, the project of the second The Populist had some distinct spatial characteristics that demanded new ideas and solutions, therefore it could not just adapt to the design. The new The Populist is located in the former space of a garden villa, in Bebek, a wealthy neighborhood in the Bosphorus.
The Beer Dream Machine
For the first Populist, the studio aimed for an industrial atmosphere with exposed beer tanks. For Populist Bebek, in order to fit the neighborhood characteristics, it has been created a more refined and dreamy look. Taking into consideration that the beer served in the restaurant is made in the first Populist, the design team was inspired to come up with a key element in the design: The Beer Dream Machine.
The installation represents a ceiling mounted sculptural piece that serves as lighting and simulates the circuit of the beer fabrication. This piece also implied the architectural intervention over the two floors of the brewery, as the second one was transformed into a balcony overlooking the main level. This detail managed to direct the complete attention to the machine, as it can be easily noticed from every corner of the establishment.
Therefore, the sculpture eventually becomes a complex machine and it almost feels alive, as the liquid is constantly flowing through the pipes and the lights are changing all through the day to create different atmospheres. At late hours they are dancing following the rhythm of the music playing in the brewery.
The Bebek Stool
The Beer Dream Machine is not the only bespoke furniture created for the The Populist. Therefore, another distinctive design is the stool called Bebek, which is described as ̈very expressive by Gabriele Schiavon, designer and co-founder of Lagranja Design.
The design, as Gabriele Schiavon explains, is thought to be seen from behind, as the stools are always placed facing the bar, so this is why the emphasis is on the backrest. The stool will be included in Lagranja Collection, a brand that brings together collections and pieces of furniture designed and edited by Lagranja Design. Very soon, another The Populist restaurant will open in Izmir, Turkey and Lagranja Design is again the one in charge with the design.
Bathroom Sink and Faucets
The bathroom might be seen as the synthesis of the entire project. Representative pieces of bespoke furniture used in the restaurant can be found in this space. For instance, the sink is made out of pieces of rehabilitated copper tanks used to store the beer.
White neon lights are used as direction signage and a fun neon message is included in each bathroom. By placing a tinted glass on top of the text, the light behind makes the surface become a mirror. The general illumination is assured by duct and luminaire segments used for the Beer Dream Machinetoo.
The industrial look is completed by the sink faucets, which are made out of the same type of copper pipes composing the beer installation and the lighting fixtures. The aim was to create a unitary design that tells the story of beer’s true spirit and the prohibition, outlining in the same time the historical value of the location it occupies. Source by Lagranja Design.
- Location: Istanbul, Turkey
- Architect: Lagranja Design
- Architect in charge: Gabriele Schiavon
- Year: 2018
- Photographs: Courtesy of FELICES · Communicology & PR
Article by Marco Rinaldi