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The new Breuninger department store in Düsseldorf is housed in the prestigious Kö-Bogen designed by Daniel Libeskind. It accommodates the first mainland branch of the famous Sansibar restaurant from the North Sea island of Sylt. Herbert Seckler who owns the restaurant on the island is a national celebrity in his own right. Now he has granted his first licence for a restaurant outside the island.

DIA – Dittel Architekten were given the task of designing and implementing the restaurant measuring 230 m² and adjacent areas. The brief was to transfer the relaxed and informal atmosphere of the original restaurant to the Rhine metropolis. In keeping with Breuninger harmony, the restaurant was to radiate a natural, high-class flair. The aim was to unify two strong brands, Breuninger and Sansibar, under a single roof so that each can profit from the other.

In order to experience the atmosphere of Sylt, typical materials were used, such as old wood for the panelling and tables made of solid oak. Wine is a key theme for the Sansibar, and this was integrated in the draft plans as a characteristic element.

Various zones offer seats for about 130 guests. The central element in the room is the large bar. During the day, it provides an open view of the Breuninger sales area, inviting guests to relax with a snack. Whereas flexible furniture clusters line the façade which offers a scenic view over the lake, the bench seating at the front ends encompasses the room. It is backed by a patinated wall design reminiscent of an old wine cellar. Two large solid tables in the middle of the room promote communication and informality, while the suspended candelabras provide pleasant lighting.

The regulars’ table in one corner offers large groups a cosy place for withdrawal. The focus here is on wine. The wall and ceiling are made of a panelling material which looks like stacked wine crates. A window integrated in the panelling offers a glimpse of the well stocked climate controlled wine cellar. Above the solid patinated table, lamps made of wine bottles provide mood lighting.

A second ingenious feature besides the regulars’ table is the four booths bathed in indirect lighting. The represent simple wooden huts but their design and lighting are simplistic and modern, again demonstrating a definite link to the Sansibar on Sylt.

The floor covering is an unusual parquet which has a deliberately rough rustic surface in a light slate colour. The walls are designed in matching sand tones; the friendly ambience is rounded of with a counter surface made of white mineral material. The striped materials on the seat cushions provide discrete accents of colour to complete the guests’ association with Sylt. The Sansibar in Düsseldorf is also open outside Breuninger’s opening hours and offers special gourmet treats combined with friendly, uncomplicated service.

All image courtesy of DITTEL ARCHITEKTEN GMBH

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