Alte Mensa, a 200 sq. metre cellar in Göttingen – first used for potato storage, then as a jazz club and later a disco bar – is now home to the Augusta restaurant of star-rated gourmet chef Daniel Raub.
Working closely with the historic monuments protection authority and the municipal archaeology office, the building has been completely renovated since 2014, restoring the original shape and room layout, while preserving as much as possible of the historically-valuable structure as possible. The restaurant completes the conference facilities of Georg-August-University, while breathing new life into Wilhelmsplatz by providing an outdoor catering area.
“I have been looking for a location in Göttingen for a long time,” explains Daniel Raub, who made his name at the Hotel and Restaurant Biewald at Friedland. “In the Augusta restaurant, I will have 80 seats now, 20 of them in a booth, and will offer plain German and French cooking in a very special ambience.“
A stairway leads down to the vaulted cellar which is quite typical of the massive buildings in Göttingen town centre. The cellar ceilings of the building, erected in 1825, were too low for the planned use, so they were rebuilt and underpinned, so that the room height could be increased by 400mm.
The decisions concerning the interior were made by Raub himself. “As regards the floor covering, for example, it was important to me that all individual areas convey the impression of a unified whole. It became apparent, during talks with the architect Tanja Gockel, that ceramic tiles were the best solution. With this ecologically and economically advantageous material it is possible to design the diverse zones as a visual ensemble despite their different usage requirements. An example for this is the counter area, which adjoins the dining area but requires a quite different slip resistance.”
A solution was found in Agrob Buchtal’s Valley range of porcelain stoneware tiles with it’s fine-grain surface and ideal earth-brown colour. The range also provides a wide choice of formats and slip-resistance categories, so that the requirement for a 750 by 750mm tile in the rarely offered R11/B slip-resistance category for the counter area could be satisfied without impairing the visual consistency. In the dining area, the large format tile with R10/A slip resistance perfectly corresponds with the cross and barrel vaults and the rubble wall.
The Valley range was used throughout the restaurant; from the dining and the counter area to the sanitary rooms. It brings visual calm in the overall concept and yet creates an attractive contrast to the plastered walls as well as the other elements of the interior design. In the sanitary rooms, Valley was combined with Agrob Buchtal’s Pasado wall tiles and the Cuna decorative tile from the same collection. With its irregular lines as well as its unique piece character, it also underlines the naturalness of the location.
In the kitchen and storage rooms, Tanja Gockel specified Agrob Buchtal’s Emotion Grip tiles. “It’s amazing which creative scope this series offers me especially at the design of functional rooms,” states Gockel. “The kitchen is a workplace in which many aspects must be taken into account. With colours and surfaces matched to each other, different slip-resistance categories up to R12V4 as well as a wide range of formats including a mosaic in R10/B, Emotion Grip is the ideal collection for this.”
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, July 2017.