URBA installs glass-covered experimental space “műhely” in restaurant in Budapest

urba completes experimental renovation of budapest restaurant

the architecture and design firm URBA renovated the onyx Restaurant located in the gerbeaud house in budapest, Hungary. the new design transforms the restaurant into a place of “memory making”, unveiling a glass-covered ‘műhely’ space. natural textures and bespoke furniture complement the experimental new character of the minimalist restaurant set to reopen in 2022.

all images courtesy of URBA

a glass covered restaurant in a restaurant

URBA’s new műhely space appears as a transparent restaurant within a restaurant, giving onyx its own experimental entity. this glass-covered room is where meals and presentations are crafted, and guests can witness and be part of these processes. “This personal test kitchen is the opposite of what onyx represented before,” the architects to share.

instead of the stiff, white-glove dining experience, ‘műhely’s small space seats 16 guests at a communal table filled with the warmth of oak furniture. the other space which previously served as a guest space is still being renovated and will host the reformer onyx offering a refined menu. these two spaces will be physically connected, but each will have a different interior, offering different experiences and dishes. onyx restaurant by urba 2

focus on sustainability

after the opening of onyx, “műhely” will function as a space for research, development and innovation, always allowing guests to see what is happening behind the scenes. just like the ‘műhely’, all spaces of the restaurant share the vision of presenting progressive Hungarian cuisine based on the intertwining of art, science and gastronomy, using local ingredients and focusing on the sustainability.

the architecture and interior design is also focused on promoting sustainability, incorporating locally sourced materials, full spatial layout, multi-functional furniture and as little surplus as possible. instead of heavy old curtains and baroque wallpapers, URBA used natural stone powder to create a texture on the walls similar to rammed earth, to create a more intimate space. meanwhile, nine tables are used alone or combined into one large community table for private dining or in-house experimentation and presentations.

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the custom three-legged chair enriches the new onyx interior

when onyx commissioned URBA to design the restaurant’s new interior, the client also asked the studio to create a bespoke chair. this turned out to be a long and complex product development process: “it had to be ergonomic, comfortable for most people, durable, fit the space but not be too visually noisy, and had to be produced in the required quality”, the design team shares.

the chair is characterized by its oak structure and its three legs topped with an oil finish as well as its back and seat in leather. the chairs are produced by komok, a young company committed to working with other hungarian designers and architects to create high quality products made in hungary from local materials. besides the new custom chair, the renovation also added a distinctive metal staircase that guides visitors from the ‘műhely’ to a small gastro library and a cabinet of curiosities filled with onyx relics of the past.

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project info:

Last name: onyx restaurant
architects: URBA
mirror installation: boldizar senteski
location: Budapest, Hungary

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edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | design boom

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