Meet Tahy: The Futuristic Ice Cream Shop Inspired by Melting

Ukraine's design firm Sivak + Partners Studio mixes classical elements with modernism.

For Ukrainian design firm Sivak + Partners Studio, the inspiration for the 800-square-foot juice and ice cream shop came from its name. Tahy (or Тaю) means “I’m melting” in Ukrainian, so for the restaurant in Odessa, on Ukraine’s southern coast, the designers created a series of metal panels that hug the walls in ebbs, flows, and melts for an eye-catching and futuristic interior with an unusual footprint.

 

 

The studio, which has offices in Odessa, Kyiv, and Brooklyn, kept the existing ornately embellished ceiling, which made it challenging to create a space that combined the charm of the historic building with the designers’ modern style. Because the project had a very tight deadline, simplicity was best, both in design concept and construction, to limit the number of contractors involved. The wavy metal walls ended up being the solution to both the aesthetic and technical design hurdles. Because the windows don’t open and ventilation ducts would have ruined the beauty and symmetry of the ceiling ornamentation, the new panelling offered a place to hide the supply and exhaust vents while creating a strong visual element with minimal construction.

 

 

 

Combining old with new, the ceiling motifs seem to melt into modernism as they give way to the smooth curves of the metal walls. The space is filled with grey and white marble tables with triangular metal bases. A large island in a matching marble separates guests from employees and runs parallel to a stainless-steel counter topped with kitchen gadgets.

 

Tahy Ice Cream by Sivak + Partners Studio

 

Tahy by Sivak + Partners Studio Wall lights

Tahy by Sivak + Partners Studio door handle

 

Two pairs of sleek white and metal lounge chairs, each with a three-legged white side table, are framed by the two large windows. The only colour beyond the greyscale of the main room is the cobalt blue floor of the bathroom, which is hidden behind a metal door that blends with the silver walls. A small entry separates the bathroom and doorway, with pulls that have melting details, from the rest of the dining room.

 

Tahy by Sivak + Partners Studio

 

Grey bulbs with clear collars protrude from the walls in quartets, except in the entryway where they dominate a whole wall and could well be heat lamps that set the melting façade in motion. Unable to find fixtures that matched what they had in mind for the project, the designers created their own, accelerating the entire process, which normally takes around six months just to prototype, to just a couple of months.

Photography by Yevhen Kariev.

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