Art, design and good food – a promising trio
von Claudia Beckmann | Jan 19, 2009

Postmodern architecture is not having an easy time of it at the moment. It is the unloved child which everyone resents, but which is still part of the family. In Frankfurt, too, there is currently a great deal of controversy and divided opinion on what would be the best approach to the architectural relics.

In fact, the discussion raging outside about the city of the future emerging from the past and, connected to it, the debate about the Schirn Kunsthalle dome, have enabled a step forward on the inside. Despite all the differences of opinion, in the case of the inside story, everyone agrees at least on one thing, namely, that art and enjoyment are not far apart. Where art claims to be of the highest quality, the museum's café must also attain the same standard. Thus, the focus has been on finding suitable partners for the project - and those in charge everything, from the wall to the schnitzel.

The search did not take long. Conscious of the company's extensive experience and expertise, the Schirn Kunsthalle hired Frankfurt-based gastronomy and catering enterprise Nykke&Kokki to run the museum's café in future in the form of a restaurant. Nykke&Kokki has been managing restaurants and food outlets for years now. Alongside outlets in hotels and showrooms (and in future at Frankfurt Airport, too), it has also been running Frankfurter Kunstverein's café in the Steinernes Haus opposite the Schirn since 2006.

Nykke&Kokki accepted the attractive offer, although not alone. Indeed, it too immediately set out to find a partner. Stylepark was commissioned with the entire design of the project and the alternating settings. The company sees itself as a communications platform for design culture and has had a curating role in the fields online, print, events and consulting for many years. The corresponding know-how and extensive experience in the area of concept planning and event organization, from design-related producer presentations through its own events such as "Stylepark in Residence" to high-end design events like "The Design Annual", in cooperation with Messe Frankfurt, predestined Stylepark as the coordinator handling realization of the Schirn Café project.

Together, the partners have demonstrated courage in their new interpretation of Schirn Café. They have not limited themselves to serving new food in the old environment. In future, the Schirn Café will also possess a new face, and indeed, even change it regularly. For the concept involves restyling the space every six to nine months. Both renowned designers and architects and talented up-and-coming individuals who have attracted attention with innovative projects will be invited to design the alternating concepts. Israeli designer Nitzan Cohen, who, before founding his own studio in Munich in 2007, worked as project manager for Konstantin Grcic, will start the ball rolling with the first and therefore also the basic design of the space. Cohen made a name for himself with his design for the organic restaurant "Zerwirk" in Munich, among other projects. He has been Guest Professor of industrial design at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart since 2008.

With the collaboration of the Schirn Kunsthalle, Nykke&Kokki and Stylepark, (and the alliance certainly promises success), a hitherto unique concept will become reality on the Römerberg in Frankfurt. It will feature alternating, innovative design concepts by international designers who will devise the ideas with a strong view to art, but will deliberately not resort to art. What they will most definitely bring to bear are concepts combined with ambitious culinary offerings. The city needs new concepts!

Red Tab by NYKKE&KOKKI Frankfurt
Café of the Frankfurter Kunstverein by NYKKE&KOKKI
nan15 by Nitzan Cohen for nanoo by faserplast
She said by Nitzan Cohen for Mattiazzi
Roeckl Restaurant by Nitzan Cohen in Munich
Stylepark in Residence - touchy-feely, Cologne 2007 Installation: Patricia Urquiola: Dance n.2, Setup by Patricia Urquiola + Martino Berghinz
Café of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Café of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Zerwirk Munich by Nitzan Cohen
Thomas Installation by Nitzan Cohen for The Design Annual 2008
Thomas Installation by Nitzan Cohen for The Design Annual 2008
Stylepark in Residence - Storytellers, Cologne 2006 Installation: Orient Express by Konstantin Grcic
The Design Annual - inside: showtime, Frankfurt 2008 Installation by Tobias Rehberger & Claus Richter