Retro yet futuristic—that’s the look Asthetíque Group, a Brooklyn, New York-based interior design firm led by principals Julien Albertini and Alina Pimkina, envisioned when conceiving the interiors of Moscow restaurant Café Polet.
Located at Khodynka Field, the site of Russia’s first-ever powered flight in 1910, the restaurant’s design scheme pays tribute to the country’s aviation history while embracing what lies ahead. “We wanted to tell a story through design that acknowledges the past, present, and future,” says Albertini. Airplane motifs and nods to space travel can be found throughout the 6,800-square-foot space, which boasts expansive windows and 14-foot-high ceilings. Upon entrance, patrons are greeted by two larger-than-life stainless steel Martian goddess sculptures. Fastened to columns, they represent the personification of flight. Plus, “sleek steel shapes and portholes make the room look like the cabin of a space shuttle,” adds Pimkina
The airy environment comprises eight distinct sections for a total of 173 seats—including the main dining room, a coffee shop, and an intimate VIP room—separated by decorative partitions and openwork metal structures entwined with living greenery.
Masculine shapes, crisp lines, and cool tones throughout are softened by subtle pink and gray hues, copper accents, and plush upholstery. The duo also opted for a mix of matte and reflective surfaces and incorporated a custom 3D concrete-coated wall in the dining area, pink terrazzo backsplash in the bathrooms, and a variety of tinted glass light fixtures.
“Polet pushes the edge of ordinary,” says Pimkina. “We truly began the process thinking outside of the box.” Albertini adds, “the space turned out to be significant and stylish, with a bit of irony. The interior does not press with its seriousness, but on the contrary, inspires and gives wings.”
This article originally appeared in HD’s May 2020 issue.