WE WANTED the spirit of the former Sfäär – the (hi)story of the interior – to remain palpable. Head chef and co-owner Toomas Lääts and I reached agreement on the keywords: light-dark contrast, much greenery, warm light, minimalist details. A key inspiration was the work of Tõnis Vint, recommended by Toomas. His metaphysical graphic world, symbols, signs, proportions, forms, colours – the interior contains many references to the world of Vint.
ONE MORE KEYWORD – symbiosis. I am very interested in furniture design that is fresh and timeless even decades later. I have been collecting furniture and materials for some ten years now. The chairs at Sfäär are from my own collection, I’ve brought them from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Although the chairs commissioned by the Gothenburg orchestra in 1931 began to be produced again recently, the ones here are all re-used – restored and painted black. The bar stools are from 1961, sofa from 1964.
The brass pipes of the lights I found at some point through a newspaper ad – they were left over from the Tallinn central heating plant equipment. The domes were custom-made at Olustvere glass workshop – I wanted to use the good skills of local craftsmen. Re-use and creating the combination of new and old are important to me. Re-use and creating the combination of new and old is the thing I like most in my work.
WE AVOIDED UNNECESSARY subtractions and redoing things. Even the way in which we created new aesthetic value using spare means goes well with avant-garde Tõnis Vint. I sketched out the proportions of Vint’s home bookshelf to create just as minimalist a bar shelf. The bar’s brass details are new, and the custom-made moulding strip made of ash wood is salvaged material that has found new use.
THE ASH TABLES, inspired by chairs and the aesthetics of Vint, along with the art deco like brass details, were also made in Viljandi County. We measured the proportions with the head chef. It is easy to move the tables around in the modular system. Toomas Lääts also had a hand in the luxuriant greenery, the plants being largely selected by him.
THE TRICKIEST PART was the time constraints – four months from the first meeting with the chef at the restaurant to opening.
I had one additional desire: when you enter the room, you could get the sense that the place has always been here. It is impossible to put into words the emotion you get from music and interior, it is a universal language. It would be hard to dictate to the builder what emotion it should engender. That is more my job as an artist.