Interiors, News I by

Spacemen design a ‘modern cave’ in Kuala Lumpur for coal-fired dining

Based in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, the architectural designers Spacemen have a talent for recreating ancient worlds in modern contexts. In the case of Barkar, a new cave-like steakhouse built of stone, wood and onyx, the designers’ chosen name seems erroneous. The Kuala Lumpur restaurant’s concept is described as ‘primordial’ and ‘cocoon-like’, the process dependent on open fires – it takes its name from the Malay word bakar, the energy of burning flames. In an effort to revive ancient cooking traditions, the menu focuses on charcoal-fired meat and produce.

A domed walk-way, with a porthole opening
Photography: Space Storyteller

Guests approach Barkar through a rammed-earth arch into a corridor lined with firewood. The space opens up into a rambling organic-shaped dining room enveloped in rough terracotta stucco inspired by ancient earth pits for smoking and cooking food. Spacemen’s Edward Tan designed pedestal tables and chairs like indigenous sculptures that orbit around a circular bar. The stoneware resembles frozen lava, and the fiery gold-mesh sculptures mirror the active flames from the ember-grilled barbecue behind the bar.

In the private dining room, striated grey travertine takes over, resembling natural limestone. More gold-mesh ‘flames’ lick the air over the red travertine table, which extends to accommodate 12 diners. Communal dining, after all, is part of the concept.

Barkarkl.com

A specially conceived lighting pendant mimics a live flame - or molten rock
Photography: Space Storyteller
Photography: Space Storyteller
Stacked logs create a corridor into the restaurant
Photography: Space Storyteller

Read next: A historic Singaporean warehouse is now Jiak Kim House restaurant

Bangkok discotheque Siwilai Radical Club turns trash into treasure

Latest

Latest



		
	
Share Tweet