Hospitality design in Romania is experiencing a shift, says a young local studio
Designer Timeea Bianca Diosi and interior architect Elie Kamel founded studio Biancoebianca, based in the Romanian city of Timișoara, in 2017. The pair have recently completed local restaurant Jess, a bold, theatrical space that marks the studio’s eighth interior project. It's one demonstration of the growing demand for unique spatial design from Romanian hospitality clients.
‘More and more clients in Romania are starting to contact interior design studios when it comes to hospitality spaces, because there are more events and more people coming in from other countries – they’re realising that the job of a designer is a must,’ explained Diosi.
She continued: ‘Budgets are quite low here – but not because clients don’t have money. Design is seen as something new on the market, so the mindset of clients is still traditional and not very open-minded. But we think that it's the job of a designer to solve those issues and break those boundaries, to show clients what’s possible.’
Jess was a project where the budget was indeed limited, but the client gave Biancoebianca ‘99 per cent freedom and trust’ to create a stand-out spot. Their project scope covered it all, from the branding and visual ID to the execution of front of house and the kitchen. The 145-sq-m ‘box-in-box’ restaurant is divided by a sharp contrast in colour and material. One side is warm – treated with more natural materials – while the other is cool, with shiny, lacquered surfaces. Throughout the whole space are geometric shapes used in repeating patterns to dramatic visual effect. Diosi and Kamel created customised resin-terrazzo piece by piece, taking that material and making table tops, backrests, door details and a bar counter from it; they also designed flooring in the centre of the room to create a graphic offset.
‘For each project we design, we try to create a different concept and a new mix of materials and colours,’ said Diosi. ‘In past years, design has started to change a lot in Romania – but it's still a “work in progress”, from our perspective.’