The purpose of the newly-founded chain, nat. fine bio food, is to make fast food healthy, to offer delicious organic food in a timely manner – and this in a contemporary environment. nat. brings together Organic and Lifestyle, and with this follows the increasingly-important LOHAS-Trend (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability).
The claim, “nature comes to the city” guided the design concept. Motives from nature were made so abstract that they can be only vaguely discerned. The ceiling allows association with cloud formations; the columns remind one of tree trunks; backlit walls dissolve the spatial boundaries through oversized, blown-up plantand herb-panoramas.
The main contradiction of a “natural” restaurant in an artificial urban environment becomes the core of the design. This is reflected in the contrast between natural form and disciplined, geometric abstraction, as well as in the coming together of nearly dematerialized and overly tactile, sensuous surfaces.
The non-detachable furniture was also developed specifically for nat. It separates the restaurant into three different areas (see the bird’s-eye-view rendering):
1. In front of the kitchen area, high, counter-like tables are situated for the guest who’s on the run – evoking the feeling one gets while eating at the kitchen counter.
2. The main area of the restaurant invites customers to stay longer. The space is defined by two rows of diner-like booths. Between them, free-standing chairs and tables offer seating arrangement flexibility. All furniture pieces form a mutual horizon by being the same height – creating a scenic, landscape-like space.
3. The lounge area consists of individual green islands, allowing for varied seating configurations. Although it was planned to appeal to the typical inner-city Happy Hour constituent, the lounge has evolved into a terrain for baby carriages and crawling toddlers. Within the city, it has become an oasis for young parents.
The highlight of the restaurant is the floating To Go counter, which merges into the lounge bar, which in turn merges into the water plant panorama.
Lighting and Color:
The lighting changes continually. While daylight is simulated from late-morning to late-afternoon, the atmosphere in the evening transforms into a warm, sunset-mood. The ceiling cut-outs are then illuminated only from the west. The prevalent, ephemeral white of the furniture lies in contrast to the rustic oak floor. The columns are umbra-grey in color; to accentuate, the upholstery is a fresh, light green.