Text description provided by the architects. The restaurant for the German headquarters of the French energy company Total, designed by lwa, has been completed. The new headquarters are sited at Europaplatz in Berlin, in the newly built Tour Total, close to Berlin main station.
The employee restaurant plays a key role during the daily life of the 600 Total employees. The understanding that the restaurant should be inextricably a part of everyday worklife establishes the starting point for this design. It represents the most important place for informal communication between all hierarchies of the company.
The design is based on a basic „room in room“ concept. An L-shaped space of the restaurant, the frame, defines the dining area. In between frame and food counter a continuous white floor creates the neutral light background for the whole set of elements and provides a generous space for movement. Both, dining area and food counter are crafted from oak wood stained in black. To accomplish a high grade of depth these surfaces are structured with a rhythm of vertical wooden strips. The light interior forms a strong contrast with the solid outer appearance. Partition screens create a forest of 750 champagne coloured anodized aluminium tubes with different diameters. They divide the large dining area into small private spheres. At the same time these screens act as filter to allow visual connections and create intimacy. Through its specific colour and its diverse light reflexions they evoke a unique sensuality and establish a warm atmosphere. The inner surface of the frame and its furniture are made of white glazed oak wood, which covers floor, walls and ceiling. All furnishing, tables and seating are designed as pure basic elements made from the same wood as the inner frame.
A variety of different dining situations offer areas for comfortable dining, spontaneous stopovers, espresso breaks, or even smaller conferences.
The drinking water well, a special element, which represents a traditional element in the companies’ rituals, has been integrated in the screen.
The lighting of the whole restaurant was designed in relation to its character as dining-living room for relaxation, to underline its fluid spatial arrangement, and to accentuate its sensitive materialization. The dining area is illuminated by a number of miniature energy saving LED-lights to create a large variety of different mood scenarios. Depending on the culinary experience or the kind of festivity the lighting changes in regards to a pre-programmed digitally controlled setting. All lights are integrated in such a way that not the light as object but the orchestration of light in space stands in the foreground.