Otto’s Burger Cologne

Commissioned to design the latest edition to Otto’s Burger in the historic heart of Cologne, Studio Modijefsky has taken the history of the building as an inspiration for the new interior.

  • area / size 3,552 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Location Cologne, Germany,
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Formerly a bakery, the shop was characterized by two distinctive features that influenced the new design: the clear functional division of the space, and the traces of time visible within the tiled interior.

    New materials are introduced into the space, giving quality and warmth, while the inspiration from the former bakery and Otto’s identity forms furniture pieces and special elements such as light fixtures and signage.

    Before the renovation, the tile pattern that used to fill the interior visibly showed the passing of time. Old and new tiles, with different sizes and colors laid side by side: a white and blue checkerboard standing next to a white lane of bigger tiles; broken L-shaped blue ones merging into black ones; terrazzo floor scattered within the building. The variety of colors, shapes and patterns inspired the new material palette.

    The link with the past is already visible within the façade: blue tiles inspired by the old interior embrace the entrance and visually connect with Otto’s logo. The lettering, built of simple shapes and profiles, connects the outside with the inside, where the space is unified by the same design language.

    The informality of Otto’s logo is spread around the building: it is visible, not only through the transformation of its letters, but also through the juxtaposition of square and round profiles. This game is clearly recognizable in the bar area, where, square profile lights create the shape of a T. These hang from the ceiling beams and are suspended above high tables opposite of the bar, creating a visually separate dining area along with the wall tiled with different patterns.

    A bit further, the bar opens onto what used to be an open-air space. The memory of the outdoor character lives in the use of wooden furniture, the green color of the walls, the tiled floor and the accurate placement of plants. These elements, carefully balanced with a sapient use of light, create the illusion of a patio.
    Above the head a stair-shaped tube lamp hanging from the ceiling indicates where the old staircase was located, while, under the feet, the new terrazzo floor unfolds leading the way towards the basement, where the old baking oven used to be. The railing, inspired by the language of the logo, dissolves within the darker-growing colors of the basement, seemingly taking the visitor inside the dark, flaming mouth of the bakery’s oven.

    Otto’s style effortlessly merges with the rich history of the space that flows throughout the whole restaurant. The four distinct areas of the building come together under a straightforward graphic language which fits perfectly with the identity of a burger restaurant. By turning this old bakery into the second Otto’s Burger outside of Hamburg, Studio Modijefsky’s new design invites you to take a break and enjoy a nice drink, or taste a delicious burger, surrounded by a fresh and welcoming vibe.

    Design: Studio Modijefsky
    Photography: Maarten Willemstein