YOD Group adapts an 18th century Ukrainian mansion into Samna restaurant

Two levels of a 1797 mansion in Kyiv have been turned into Samna, by retaining its original brickwork and arched domes, accentuating it with soft lighting and copper accents.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Feb 18, 2021

The basement and ground floor of Ypsilantis House, a mansion built in 1797 in Ukraine, have been transformed by YOD Group into restaurant Samna, which sits pretty within one of Kyiv's historic sections, next to Arsenalna square. Embracing a design language where the historic coalesces with modern sophistication, the transitioned space features pale brick walls, arched domes, brown accents and a sleek copper bridge that runs inside one of its cavernous halls.

Inside restaurant Samna | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
Inside restaurant Samna Image: Andriy Bezuglov

“An important Turkish statesman lived here at the beginning of the XIX century when he escaped to Kyiv after the failure of the rebellion he had participated in,” informs the design team.

Samna dedicates itself to Middle Eastern cuisine | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
Samna dedicates itself to Middle Eastern cuisine Image: Andriy Bezuglov

YOD Group relays that the manor has sunk into the ground since its construction, such that the ground floor is now the basement. “The windows which overlooked some Kyiv street now make niches below the ground,” they relay. The designers worked with the original sweeping arches, the cross-domed vaults and massive brick walls, softly daubing it with plaster to give a lighter feel. Existing wires and cables were concealed to hero the former, authentic features, and present a sleeker, contemporary interior design.

YOD Group has transformed an 18th Century mansion into restaurant Samna | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
YOD Group has transformed an 18th century mansion into restaurant Samna Image: Andriy Bezuglov

“One of the challenges for us was arranging communication systems that are necessary for any modern setting. But none of them existed when the house was built, and that is why they would look foreign on those walls now. We solved this problem in favour of authentic architecture and pure walls,” mentions Volodymyr Nepiyvoda, co-founder of YOD Group.

Entrance | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
Entrance Image: Andriy Bezuglov
Copper and steel mix with the original brickwork | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
Copper and steel mix with the original brickwork Image: Andriy Bezuglov

Five halls that house about 120 seats fill up the 726 sqm Samna restaurant that dedicates itself to Middle Eastern cuisine. A bar welcomes guests at its entrance lobby where aperitifs are served. From there one heads to one of the three main halls with seating that lays further, softly lit and spread out. After the meal, they can hang out in the area that houses a balcony, mixology bar, a DJ and an elevated copper catwalk.

  • The copper catwalk | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    The copper catwalk Image: Andriy Bezuglov
  • The DJ on a copper balcony | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    The DJ on a copper balcony Image: Andriy Bezuglov
  • YOD Group has transformed an 18th Century mansion into restaurant Samna | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    Sweeping arched domes and pale brickwork Image: Andriy Bezuglov

One of the halls commits itself to wine and winemaking, where glass cupboards line its perimeter to symbolise ‘terroirs’, lands where wine is made and impacts its character. The glass facades of the cabinets are printed with images of the ground, and in its translucent top part, wine bottles grow metaphorically from that soil. The arched, domed ceilings round out the heaviness of the place.

  • One of the halls is dedicated to wine | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    One of the halls is dedicated to wine Image: Andriy Bezuglov
  • The bar | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    The bar Image: Andriy Bezuglov

Apart from copper accents, the revamped restaurant design also features elements of solid oak, leather as well as steel. The comfortable overhead lighting inside also glows with a copper glow, which reflect off the plates that hang from the ceiling, and onto the tables. According to YOD Group, the copper accentuates the nobility of the place and sits in impressive contrast to the laconic shapes of the bar island, console tables, and the shelf with glasses hanging above the counter on steel ropes.

“Old buildings speak for themselves. They demand some respect and restraint from a designer,” concludes Nepiyvoda.

  • Soft arched domes link the walls to the ceiling | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    Soft arched domes link the walls to the ceiling Image: Andriy Bezuglov
  • Soft illumination lightens the cavernous interior | Samna Restaurant by YOD Group | STIRworld
    Soft illumination lightens the cavernous interior Image: Andriy Bezuglov

Project Details

Name: Samna
Location: 6, Ivana Mazepy street, Kyiv, Ukraine
Area: 726 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Designer: YOD Group

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