Interior Design

Architects: Slava Balbek, Anna Kruglova, Olena Kruglova, Victoriia Savchenko, Sasha Martyniuk
Project Manager: Kateryna Karelshtein, Nadiia Martynova
Project Area: 195,8 sq. m
Project year: 2022
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Photo credits: Andrey Bezuglov, Maryan Beresh
Cheese Bakery is a pastry shop and cafe in Lviv. In addition to the popular spot near Rynok Square in the center of Lviv, another cafe of the Cheese Bakery chain was opened in KIVSH – a creative coworking space located in a revitalized industrial area.
Cheese Bakery is located on the territory of the public and creative space of KIVSH. It was created on the site of former artillery barracks during the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with the very first buildings on this territory erected at the end of the 19th century. In Soviet times, the territory with a total area of 20,000 sq. m was transformed into an industrial zone of the Lviv Forklift Plant. The opening of the first part of KIVSH took place in February 2022, on the eve of the full-scale Russian invasion. The next two rounds of work on the revitalization of the space are planned to be completed by 2025.
The general loft aesthetic of the renovated space became the basis for the design. Our task was to harmoniously fit the cafe into the architecture of the old factory building and complement the interior with new design elements only where appropriate.
We also wanted to play with the Cheese Bakery’s branding and organically integrate it with the identity of KIVSH. The client proposed the idea of a cafe as an exhibition space for the works of illustrators and artists. So we settled on the concept of a restrained and minimalist interior, which would be comfortable and cozy for customers and would serve as a neutral background for the exhibition.
The space was handed over to the team with brand-new ceilings, windows, doors and concrete floors. The location of the kitchen and bathrooms were pre-marked with plumbing points. During the construction of KIVSH, original bricks with marks belonging to various Lviv brickmakers were found, which were eventually used in the decoration of the premises, having previously covered the walls with insulation. Electrics and air vents were left exposed on the brick walls.
Zoning and seating
Since the area of the facility is small, with 42 seats needing to be placed in just one hall, it was important to offer guests different seating options. To the right of the transit area, which leads to the bar with a dessert display, we have placed a long counter. It separates the flow of visitors and serves as a self-service area allowing you to quickly drink coffee or take your order with you.
To the left of the entrance is a soft seating area that serves as a focal point, centered behind two windows. Upholstered furniture was purchased at vintage auctions: a blue sofa designed by Rob Perry for Gelderland (1960s) and armchairs designed by Giancarlo Peretti for Artifort & Castelli (1970s), which customers fell in love with instantly.
One of the main features of the space is the elongated communal table - according to the client, this format is in demand among Lviv residents. The main seating area was made mobile: if necessary, custom tables for two, four, or six seats can be combined with each other.
The far part of the hall was reserved for technology. While this zone is tied to plumbing, during the design stage, we pushed it as far into the room as possible. At the request of the client, the kitchen is partially open, so visitors can get a glimpse of how the pastry shop prepares its produce. A small children's area was located next to the kitchen, complete with a pink shelf for toys and books and a soft pouf, as well as bathrooms: a small one and a larger one, for people with limited mobility.
We decided to add warm and tactile materials to the areas which the guests of the cafe would interact directly with. An accent was made on wood and textiles. In contrast to the original brick walls, we decided to decorate the space with long curtains, which, when closed, completely cover up most of the walls and windows in the room. This allows you to play with the mood of the space and create a more intimate and cozy atmosphere with softer lighting.
The area behind the bar and the open part of the kitchen were decorated with stainless steel. Console shelves for coffee and wine were also made from the same material: they look weightless, can withstand the weight of bottles and have a complex design without any visible fixings.
The lighting in the establishment is diffused and subdued, with lamps above the communal table and at the self-service counter. The accented lighting was also provided on the walls in the upcoming gallery area. According to the client’s idea, the exposition will be ever-changing, with local illustrators commissioned to draw sketches about the vibe of the Cheese Bakery.
Wavy neon LED strips in the main hall and bathrooms are a play on Cheese Bakery's brand identity. The cafe’s neon sign also serves as a lighting element. To reduce the visual noise of the facade of the building, it was placed inside the cafe, behind the glass of the entrance door.
Cheese Bakery is a project that expanded our Lviv portfolio (along with On The Square hotel & MolodoZeleno pub) and was instantly adored by locals. We created a cozy interior within the walls of a former industrial building and matched the cafe with the style of a large creative space.