by Jincy IypeJan 09, 2023
Designed by owners and founders Oliver Mansaray and Daniel Scheppan, KINK Bar and Restaurant has opened in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg’s multidisciplinary, sociocultural venue Pfefferberg, in Berlin, Germany. KINK, an adaptive space with an eight-metre high ceiling and dusky interiors, weds a bar, restaurant and in-house laboratory in a neatly experimental and synergetic style, with Swiss artist Kerim Seiler’s massive neon red light installation hovering overhead.
Founded by local residents in 1990, Pfefferberg was transformed from a mid-19th century brewery into an impressive hub of social, creative, cultural and commercial activities such as spaces for dance, theatre and concert performances, along with artists’ studios and galleries. Some of them include studios of globally acclaimed artist Olafur Eliasson and renowned gallery Aedes Architekturforum. “Both rooted yet relieved from this historical legacy, KINK acts as a sociocultural space for healing, reconstruction, and discovery – its very name embodying a combination of bliss, and a touch of nonsense,” say Mansaray and Scheppan.
KINK Bar and Restaurant is divided into three zones, across functions and levels – the main central area with the bar, the gallery on the mezzanine and a window enveloped Glashaus. Designed by Berlin studio Hidden Fortress, the central open area is designated to the kitchen and bar with sitting areas, as a single overlapping space for visitors and staff alike. The bar’s black countertop complements the high stools that are placed along its edge. The bar’s interiors are mostly rendered in dark, dusky tones, with pops of colour in the form of bright furniture, leafy plants, curtains and rugs.
The postindustrial setting of KINK combines classic and vintage elements with contemporary design features in its interior design. The side mezzanine that can be accessed by a metal staircase overlooks the lower floor, which plays in beautifully with the height of the room. The gallery reveals German artist Philipp Emanuel Eyrich’s wall-embracing metalwork, which complements the Berberlin handcrafted rugs and a set of Roche Bobois signature modular Mah Jong sofas.
The wide interiors are dominated by Spaceknot, a large, site-specific neon red installation suspended above the bar. Over 100 metres of red neon tubes loop through the space like an enormous scribble against the backdrop of dark walls and sleek, ink blue drapes. “Rethinking the void as his canvas,” Kerim Seiler transforms what appears to be a two-dimensional twisted knot into a multi-dimensional space-embracing sculpture. The contrasting glow of its interconnected segments lays with the architectural scale of the room, thereby creating an all-inclusive immersive atmosphere,” inform Mansaray and Scheppan.
A beer garden dating back to 1850 and flanked by 19th century French wing doors surrounds KINK, presenting an unusual space, “breaking from the rules of formal spatial disposition, taking down barriers and encouraging visitors’ experimentation with – and experience within – the space.”
The in-house laboratory is nestled in the wall and projects onto the bar, acting as an open workshop where modern techniques and culinary expertise and experience blend together. Italian chef Ivano Pirolo and Indian-born bar manager and mixologist Arun Puvanendran lead gastronomy and mixology at KINK, exploring progressive and contemporary fusion of international food and drink cultures. The open plan kitchen space is dressed in warmer shades, with tan furniture and powdered white walls adorned with plants.
Mansaray and Scheppan worked on their respective careers in engineering and design, to bring KINK to existence. They explain, “We don’t build walls. We tear them down. We bring together what belongs together: kitchen and bar. Not only do we create a unique space where restaurant and bar see eye-to-eye, we unite culinary and cocktail art into one cohesive experience.” They draw heavily from their own admiration of Pfefferberg’s culture and heritage of emphasising art and design, and go on to say, “We cherish art that interrogates, moves and stimulates exchange. Art reveals differences – and similarities”.
KINK Bar and Restaurant is laidback and high-end; a space that unites bar and kitchen; a space with a tightly choreographed routine between modular design, contemporary art, mixology and gastronomy; a space that is artsy, communal and multifaceted, catering to a diverse community with a deeply personal visitor experience.