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Meryan, Vladimir, Russia by Raimer Bureau Studio

Project name:
Architecture firm:
Raimer Bureau
Vladimir, Russian Federation
Principal architect:
Raimer Kirill
Design team:
Raymer K., Gritsyuk Y., Evseeva V., Lomaev A., Gordeev A.
Interior design:
Built area:
290 m²
Site area:
290 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Raimer Bureau
Stucco white daub, old wood , concrete , natural stone , stainless steel , textile
Tools used:
$500 000
Hospitality › Restaurant

Raimer Bureau: Merians or Merja is an ancient pagan tribe that lived on the territory of the Yaroslavl, Ivanovo and Vladimir regions in the middle of the first millennium AD. The tribe belongs to the Finno-Ugric group. The name is derived from the Proto-Finno-Ugric word "Möri", which means "man". Researchers note that the Merians were followers of the cult of "blue stones" associated with the name of Ukko, the supreme thunder deity of Finnish mythology, who had the nickname "Blue Cloak" (Sinivitta).

For our project, it was important for us to achieve a sense of immersion and create a design that would transport visitors on a journey through time. We used various materials and techniques to create an atmosphere of mystery and reference to ancient times. By looking at reflections in stainless steel, art objects embedded in translucent resin, and finding hidden Easter eggs, guests are immersed in the atmosphere of Meryan times. The entire space resembles a house where historical and modern elements are interwoven.

To begin, the reference to a hut immediately catches the eye. We left wooden beams on the ceiling and added carved boards to complete the look. Additionally, two types of plaster were used in the design. One is more textured and natural-looking, resembling clay with an earthy hue, which was used to fill in spaces between the beams and some partitions. On the other hand, we used a calm and light plaster texture on the walls, creating the feeling of a dab.

The chic bar attracts attention from the very first moment guests are introduced to the space. It contains a modern and practical material - stainless steel, contrasted with natural materials. We paid a lot of attention to the liquor collection, which is in the most prominent position, beautifully lit and the shelves are densely stocked, creating a sense of cohesion. The rest of the equipment used by the bartenders and waiters is also made of stainless steel. It reflects all the colours, shades and textures that are present in the interior, creating a mesmerising effect.

The part of the counter where the guests sit is made of concrete. It consists of multi-coloured layers of concrete, which resemble a slice of earth and also refer to archaeology and excavations. Each floor has seating at large tables decorated with live candles. This is a reference to the hearth around which members of large families gathered. The space also contains an unexpected twist. On the one hand, the interior is very restrained in terms of colors, the general tonality gives the impression that we are looking at an old photograph. However, we decided to introduce elements of appropriate colors and colored light to represent the everyday life of the Merians during sunset. In this way, we created a reference to sunset, sunset colors and sunset sky.

We assume that this illumination will have a flexible setting, and with the help of colors it will be possible to influence the atmosphere in the establishment. If necessary, several scenarios can be created for different occasions. One of our favorite elements in the design are the curtains that contain traces of the landscape where the Merians lived. The light shines through these curtains and we see a vivid sunset in black and white pictures.

By Alfredo Gonzalez

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