Usine | Restaurant Design

I have a soft spot for converted spaces. I know they’re quite common, especially in urban cities, where they simply have to be repurposed due to lack of affordable options or buildings being no longer relevant. What I find particularly interesting are industrial building conversions that can sit empty and unused for decades becoming nothing more than an eyesore. These massive buildings that once formed the backbone of world’s industry can be ugly and it takes a great deal of imagination to adapt them for modern uses.

Usine by Richard Lindvall

Usine in Stockholm is anything but an eyesore. Originally a 2000 square meter sausage factory and former tax agency office it is now a new hot spot for urban dwellers. It is both sophisticated and functional and doesn’t remind you of those pretentious eateries where overwhelming minimalistic interior almost makes you feel unwelcome. The new space, which opened its doors at the end of April this year, includes Restaurant Bistro 38, Bar Poche 36, take away, reception and conference spaces. Usine has been described as “a restaurant that could have been in New York or any other big international city, where one has created a Scandinavian feeling”.

Usine by Richard Lindvall

Also check out: Swedish Interior Design

Usine by Richard Lindvall
Usine by Richard Lindvall
Usine by Richard Lindvall

Also read: Interior details/Swedish apartment

Usine by Richard Lindvall
The mind behind the vision is a renowned interior and concept designer from Sweden, Richard Lindvall, known for creating interiors of Museet and Nazdarowie (both in Stockholm). He completely stripped down the building, leaving no trace of the old bureaucratic layout and designed a minimalistic restaurant with an industrial twist. He said he took inspiration from hotels and restaurants in Shanghai, New York and Amsterdam.
“Big impressive buildings with lots of space <…> which are still keeping a welcoming atmosphere are very rare in Sweden, so I went abroad for inspiration on how to achieve this feeling. I was a bit afraid of making it too cold, it was important to create a warmth in the environments, but still keep it raw and fresh <…>.”
The large space is divided into three rooms, all revolving around a central black iron beam structure which reinforces visual consistency. Iron beams are at the centre of each of three parts and have been designed to serve unique functions in each area (table/service station in Porche 36, sofa in Bistro 38, shelf in the cafe). All areas are connected by a spacious corridor serving as a gallery with new exhibitions coming up on a regular basis.
Usine by Richard Lindvall

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Usine by Richard Lindvall
In terms of material choice, you’ll see a lot of concrete (interesting fact: 48 tons of concrete was poured into the construction, not only for the floors but also to construct the two bars, reception desk, a large sofa table and a 3.5 meter wash basin in the restroom), galvanised steel, white tiles and black iron accentuating that raw industrial nature of the space. To balance things out and soften up the look Lindvall used some high-quality leather upholstery, maple wood furniture and picked up some fig and olive trees for decor. He says “I was a bit afraid of making it too cold, it was important to create a warmth in the environments, but still keep it raw and fresh”.
Usine by Richard Lindvall
Usine by Richard Lindvall

Recommended read: Modern Swedish design – Malmö city

Usine by Richard Lindvall
Many interior details and furniture are bespoke: Lindvall designed some of the furniture himself or found unique decor elements from auctions  in Europe and Asia. The large scale photo print in Bistro 38, for example, is of many items he brought back from China, where he collaborated with photographer Johan Annerfelt.
Usine by Richard Lindvall
Sometimes when there’s oodles of space to work with there’s a temptation to overcomplicate things, but Usine feels uncluttered and a sense of human scale isn’t lost. Clear your schedule folks and head to the new hot spot in Stockholm for a dinner. Don’t forget to tweet us @nordicstylemag on your way back and let us know how it was!
Special thank you goes to Richard Lindvall who provided high-resolution images and shared his thoughts on the design concept.
Photo credits: Mikael Axelsson & Johan Annerfelt
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“Usine | Restaurant Design”