Blueness Restaurant

Danish design studio Space Copenhagen has just completed the design of Blueness, a new upscale restaurant in Antwerp’s celebrated fashion district.

  • area / size 2,045 sqft
  • Year 2022
  • Location Antwerp, Belgium,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Blueness is the second restaurant Space Copenhagen has created in collaboration with acclaimed chef and restaurateur Sergio Herman. Located in the heart of Antwerp and occupying the ground floor of a 17th Century renaissance building, the space has been transformed by Space Copenhagen who sought to express the hybrid duality between the buildings past grandeur and its present function. The result is a space that infuses classical interior architecture with a modern Scandinavian design aesthetic.

    The building’s classical spatial proportions have been placed centre stage of the design with fragments of its original detailing, which have survived for centuries, still evident. Tall ceilings arch above columns with carved and decorative elements in sandstone and marble, while elaborate metalwork framing adorns the various openings and windows within the space. The design of the restaurant has been envisioned by Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou as a wondrous journey through time, where the restaurant bears witness to the different purposes and activities of the building throughout history. The subdued melancholy of Space Copenhagen’s design creates the perfect stage for Blueness Antwerp, bringing guests on a tasteful and sensuous journey within an eclectic environment.

    Blueness’s cuisine is both appetising and playful, fueled by the contrast between surprise and expectation. Sergio Herman has created a fine-casual concept where modern French cuisine and Japanese influences combine and enhance each other. Space Copenhagen’s design explores duality so guests can choose to either enjoy the buzz and dynamism of watching the open kitchen from the custom bar or take in the tranquility of an intimate candlelit dinner in the main dining room.

    In the dining room, comfortable and effortless furniture in subtle colour tones of natural wood, stone, brass and linen blend with dreamy and ambient lighting provided by a sculptural Candlelight Chandelier. This bespoke cast brass piece by artist Valentin Loellmann has four arms that stretch down from the ceiling with platforms for candles that provide gentle, diffused light. Soft benches upholstered in warm rose fabric by Sahco and Kvadrat surround bespoke light oak tables, bringing a touch of Scandinavian comfort and simplicity to the space. Other tables are flanked by Loafer Dining Chairs designed by Space Copenhagen for &Tradition, upholstered in sand-coloured canvas.

    A central part of the design of Blueness is the otherworldly art and design works that adorn the walls throughout the restaurant and bar. Space Copenhagen, who often use art to enrich the design of restaurants, worked closely with a selection of artists to create bespoke pieces that feature throughout Blueness. These spectacular works include four custom pieces by Latvian designer Germans Ermičs, the largest of which transforms the main staircase into an immersive art experience with copper toned cladding, moving from dark to light tones as guests descend. In the basement, Ermičs has also created a densely saturated colourful light installation positioned behind wrought metal bars dating back to the 18th Century, which creates an eerily magnetic and abstract space. Upstairs, Dutch artist Mae Englegeer has provided bespoke tatami drapes for the window, their muted tones bringing serenity to the room.

    With Blueness Antwerp, Space Copenhagen has created a design that, while dreamy and a little melancholic, also has unexpected elements of playful eclecticism. For Bindslev Henrikson and Bundgaard Rützou, the process has been an inspiring journey exploring many possibilities and feeding their curiosity. They have also relished the opportunity to work with an exciting range of talented and creative collaborators, as well as being supported by the generous and visionary mindsets of the partnering Dhedeene family behind the Verso fashion brand.

    Design: Space Copenhagen
    Photography: Peter Paul de Meijer