“Livada” – Romanian for Orchard, is a restaurant in Cluj, Romania, in an old classic Transylvania house. The concept of the space, designed by architects Radu Calin and Sebastian Mindroiu of PickTwo , was to bring indoor the feeling you get outside, in open air.
The house has an area of 450sqm and the yard surrounding the space is about 1200 sqm. The challenge: make the interior more impressive than the terrace, a real-life orchard with trees and plants. The concept was that of a Romanian classic restaurant setup in an orchard environment, with 10% of fusion / modern flavor added to it.
We designed a symbol for this, that became the logo: an apple with a fork in it. For the interior we went further with this, creating the object from concrete, with a vintage fork. The apple symbolized the orchard, the vintage fork is the symbol for Romanian classic restaurant, and the concrete material symbolizes the 10% modern flavor added to this recipe.
We treated this project in two steps: exterior & interior. For the exterior we wanted to keep as much nature as possible, leaving the trees and plants unharmed. We created a central bar for the terrace called “Cuina” (regional word for kitchen). This turned out to be the main attraction of this 450 seats terrace. We used classic Romanian design for this, as we constructed a wooden greenhouse with windows all around.
For the interior we kept it simple, using a white relief paint for the walls and wood for the tables and chairs. Embedded in the walls, we place plaster Romanian traditional motives that were covered with the same paint. The details are the one that bring the space to life, as we added inside many things that you might find outdoors: stairs, clothes hangers, fruit cases, baskets and more. Also, there are many object reminding of vintage kitchens, like teapots, old dishes, silverware in concrete molds, cooking trays turned into lamps.
The main attraction of the interior is the large bar, covered entirely with hand made and hand painted terracotta, a material used for creating heating stoves. To spice the atmosphere we added that 10% modern look by hanging desert plants imported from Guatemala. These plants live without water in glass bulbs, hanged in the air, bringing the modern touch.