Wowhaus architects filled the space with Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Central Asian, Byzantine and Venetian motifs. Specifically for this, they studied the visual culture of Asia and the routes of the Silk Road.
“The building on Malaya Nikitskaya, built in 1938, has served music all its life,” the architects say. — It was built as a Recording House — a cult place for musicians of several generations. In addition to the excellent acoustics, the 415 m2 restaurant inherited golden cornices and capitals, stucco molding, cast-iron grating at the entrance and coffered ceilings””
What to do with all this wealth was invented by Alexey Pinsky. The restaurateur came to the Wowhaus team, with whom he worked on the interior of Regent by Rico, with a ready-made idea and even with the name of the restaurant — Farang. This word of Persian origin means a foreigner, mainly a European. “The word appeared in response to the need to name and realize the aliens who once penetrated into everyday life,” the authors of the project explain. “It traveled with its carriers and spread across South and Southeast Asia.” So in the center of the restaurant concept appeared reflections on caravan routes, which once formed the idea of Asia about Europe and Europe about Asia.
In order to integrate into the overall composition of architectural elements left over from the historic Recording House, the architects placed a stained glass window of the 1950s at the entrance: “It refers to Venice as an Italian reflection of the East.” At the main door, in front of the historical lattice, there is an installation in the form of a column with mirror slats. As you move into the main hall, you can see the waiters’ station – the pattern on its decorative lattice was taken from the historical lattice at the main entrance.
The authors of the project made the kitchen area the brightest spot of Farang: “In its design, we tried to convey the heat of the hearth around which the life of the oriental bazaar unfolds. Two tandoor are painted in gold, a small golden square tile has also received a new reading: it is often ordinary (“low”), in a new context it takes on a different meaning and rather resembles a Byzantine mosaic — smalt.”
The second point of attraction is the bar area. It is made of tiles made in Tatarstan according to ancient technologies using traditional oriental motifs. The mezzanine floor with private areas offers a more secluded and quiet environment. A five-meter carpet unites the spaces of two floors — a traditional symbol of prosperity and luxury in the Middle East and Central Asia. It is handmade, framed with a gold frame, and in the pattern you can see the logo of the restaurant.
All the furniture, except chairs and some sofas, and the light are completely drawn by architects. “The massive columns are accentuated by vertical lamps,” draw the attention of Wowhaus— “this is a kind of homage to the Moroccan light palette with its night lights and subdued light. The glass flasks for the second floor were bought at the vintage products market: the flasks got there from a glass factory that had already ceased to exist, lamps were invented on their basis”” And in order to give the space the feeling of an oasis, the architects added greenery – ficus trees in specially designed tall pots refer to palm trees and desert mirages.
“Deliberate kitsch and flirting with iconic images of the East continues in the restrooms,” the authors of the project note. “In addition to the images of tigers and leopards on the golden ceiling, there are motifs from shunga, a medieval Japanese erotic engraving.”
But that’s not all. “For Farang, we came up with our own cipher based on visual images of the writing of Arabic, Turkic, Sumerian languages,” says the Wowhaus team. – Alexey Pinsky even provided us with specialized literature on the historical context of the Silk Road”” The results of the experiment are applied to the walls of the restaurant: semi-disappearing signs symbolize the writing of an unfamiliar, seemingly foreign language, which for a foreigner means something mysterious and inaccessible to understanding.