In 2014, Publique opened its stylish doors on Anna Paulownaplein in one of the grandest parts of The Hague. The interior designer Robert Kolenik was asked to put his exciting stamp on this much-loved French classic.
Brothers Casper and Sjoerd Smits and their cousin Maurits Jonkman are all experienced hospitality entrepreneurs. Long time Kolenik fans, they had hoped to work with the interior designer on one of their projects. So they asked Kolenik to come up with a restaurant design. Kolenik: ‘The bistro had to be both stylish and accessible. And the deadline? Exactly eleven weeks.’ Thanks to a carefully thought-out plan, a team with long experience of working together, an enthusiastic approach and a critical eye, the interior designer was able to deliver the desired result within the required timeframe.
For his interior design, Kolenik opted for a warm copper shade as the basis for his colour palette. This is the main colour in the restaurant’s grand stained glass windows, and it creates a feeling of peace and unity. This warmth also fits well with Publique’s unfussy but high quality menu, devised by chef Mark van Bemmel. The menu features gastronomic dishes from all over the world, but they all have French roots.’
The homely glow of red copper reappears in the robust open kitchen, which alludes to the French bistros of yesteryear. Copper also features in the elegant, modern Humble lighting fixtures and lamps that were custom made for this hospitality design.
Hospitality design with exciting contrasts
The materials chosen underline the desired effect of exclusivity and accessibility. They create exciting contrasts, so each visit leaves you wanting more. For example, raw concrete is combined with natural materials such as walnut and leather. Or round shapes in the tables, kitchen and leather stools contrast with the straight lines of the architecture.
As with many of Kolenik’s projects, the majority of the furniture is custom made. So too are the lighting elements. This ensures that all the items live up to the high quality standards of the virtuoso designs. It also enables Kolenik to create that recognisable signature and high quality that a hospitality design demands.