Bank became a gastronomical venue
The transformation of the adorned premises at Järnvägsgatan 3 in Helsingborg is one of the most mentioned design projects within the restaurant business the past year. It tells the story of a successful restaurant keeper, a visionary designer and a forgotten old bank.
Gastro was already in business in 1998, and has for many years been ranked as one of Swedens prime restaurants. Founder Per Dahlberg was awarded in 2005 with the Gastronomic Academy’s gold medal for “outstanding actions for Swedish food culture”. When Norrporten offered an enriched premise of an old bank with arched windows towards Järnvägsgatan and Öresund, a new chapter started in the restaurants history.
Per Dahlberg turned to designer Niklas Madsen at Superlab, a person he’s had successful cooperation’s with in the past. Together they studied all the old blueprints to understand what the original architects had in mind. It turned out that the premises had been rebuilt at several different occasions, so the effort to find the original roof and floors can only be described as an archeological digging. While digging they found three rooms that had been sealed shut some time in the 1900s.
The ambition was to preserve as many original details as possible with new materials to recreate its former glory. Niklas vision was that the guest shouldn’t be able to distinct what’s old from what’s new. The wooden panels on the walls was recreated after old blueprints, the bank teller counter was resurrected as a bar and the arches around the big windows got to see the light of day again.
A ceiling height of 4.6 meters in combination with large stone surfaces created problems with acoustics that was solved with pigmented acoustic plates recessed into the panel. The dark blue color of petroleum gives a harmonic and calm atmosphere, and to get a dramaturgical grading Niklas chose to cooperate with the internationally reputable lamp company Wästberg located in Helsingborg. It is from here the specially designed chandeliers in the banquet hall comes from, custom design by world-renowned designer Inga Sempé.
The project in this heritage listed building took 18 months. The result is a modern restaurant in a historical environment, where old and new live together in harmony.
Location: Järnvägsgatan 3, Helsingborg
Property Owner: Norrporten
Designer: Niklas Madsen, Superlab
Tenant: Gastro, Sara and Per Dahlberg
Surface: 650 square meters
Project time: 2.5 years
Effective Construction time: 6 months
Architect: Fritz Ullrich and Eduard Hallquisth
Developer: Sparbanken in Helsingborg
Photographer: Calle Mange
Text: Anders Donelius