The resolutely minimalist interior design of NEUHÄUSL HUNAL

Kro Bistro & Bar is based on the original concept behind Kro Kitchen, a Prague restaurant serving “haute cuisine” street food. As the creators of Kro Kitchen say, “Our goal is to create simple dishes with great attention to detail. We like to combine oldschool and modern techniques…” While working closely with local farmers to offer a local and seasonal culinary offer.
The same ideas inspire the interior design projects of NEUHÄUSL HUNAL, the studio run by David Neuhäusl and Matěj Hunal. The two architects have been working with Kro for several years, first at Kro Kitchen and then at Kro Coffee. The patterns and concepts they used before, as well as the lighting characterizing these convivial spaces, are developed here. For the first time, customers are offered not only a place to enjoy excellent chicken marinated in a blend of fermented spices, but a sophisticated bar dominated by two large counters from which diners can watch the food preparation process. and drinks.
In keeping with the locations they had previously worked on, the architects used the same patterns they had employed in Kro Kitchen and Kro Coffee, adapting and expanding upon them. The fulcrum of the project is the iconic lighting that is an integral part of the ceiling structure.
What first strikes the eye is the impression of “unfinished” that we have upon entering the space, which measures just 64 square meters. As NEUHÄUSL HUNAL points out in its note to the press: “By removing the original soffit, we have created a visible line between the old and the new. Above the line, everything remained existing while everything below was transformed. In short, they created a new base without changing anything in what was still worth preserving: an increasingly frequent attitude in interior design to maintain the chronology of the project, a “timeline” tangibly sweeping the space, offering a counterpoint to a moment in history where we seem to live in an endless present.
The restaurant strikes us with its raw appearance. The metal upper part of the old shop windows along Sokolovská Street in the Praha 08 district, just 15 minutes from the city center and close to Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square and the National Museum from Prague, has been removed to provide plenty of natural light. This architectural measure also opened the interior to the street, inviting curious passers-by to enter.
For the furnishing, the creative designers at NEUHÄUSL HUNAL used a very versatile and economical material: plywood, coated with a black layer to create a sophisticated texture. Vinyl flooring, a later addition from a previous use of the building, has been removed to expose the old terrazzo flooring, cleaned and finished to bring a new elegance to the restaurant. Where work has been carried out, for example to lay cables or new pipes, no attempt has been made to hide it: the new additions are clearly visible, patched with concrete including a distinctive stone aggregate.
This creative, economical and elegant solution minimizes the cost of the Kro Bistro & Bar project. But, as we all know, it is such limitations that sharpen designers’ minds, inspiring truly attractive results in perfect harmony with the dynamism and flexibility now required in the restaurant world.

Christiane Burklein

Project: NEUHÄUSL HUNAL
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Year: 2021
Images: Radek Ulehla

Betty K. Park