Located inside the recently developed Bomonti Historic Brewery, Kilimanjaro is a casual restaurant-bar that is an integral part of Bomontiada – the new art, culture and entertainment base of Istanbul. Designed by Autoban, the venue boasts a contemporary social environment inside a historic, industrial building, with careful attention given to its scale and original texture.
While staying true to the factory typology of the space, Autoban has also paid homage to the building’s former use by choosing materials that are relevant to the times while it was still an active production plant – a time when artisan tradition played a collective part within industrial production. Such choice of materials and artisan detailing were also helpful in softening the severity of the industrial atmosphere.
Inside Kilimanjaro, the two main functions – dining area and bar – are arranged as close as possible, almost touching one another at some points, to encourage social interaction and result in an intimate, cozy setting.
With its structural form and massive volume, the curvaceous bar placed at the centre, almost in the manner of an art installation, is the focal point of Kilimanjaro, where dining room seating is organized around it. Exhibiting its load-bearing functions and structural skeleton, the metalwork travelling the entire bar on top allows plenty of room for display, and it is decked out with leafy plants to help break the cold, industrial atmosphere. Due to its relationship with the overall spatial experience, the bar is perceived as a space-within-space, also creating zones for both solitude and gathering within its amorphous form.
As another showcase of the studio’s multi-layered approach to interiors, the building’s original exposed brickwork is contrasted by massive wood paneling that frame the space at parapet level. Bearing a 3D geometric pattern on its surface, specially designed for the project by Autoban, this wooden shell is installed at a certain distance from the constructive contours of the building, making room to hide away the technical components. The same surface pattern is reworked in 2D on the wood flooring resulting in a textural unity.
The entire furniture and lighting units are custom-designed by Autoban, with emphasis given to raw materials in special finishings that highlight the industrial background of the space: the potential of the material is challenged using special treatments that also experiment with their texture. Lighting designs are also contemporary takes on the designs of the turn-of-the-century industrial period.