A Moscow Cafe by V12 Architects Literally Glows in the Dark

The frieze of the building’s facade is coated in mirrored panels that take on the color of the sky. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

In an otherwise subdued district of Moscow, ’s recent project is a dazzling, if unusual, beacon. The space in question, a colorful café splashed with lemon-yellow accents and glowing neon twists, was dreamed up by the designers for returning client Karavaev Brothers. This was the culinary chain’s third time hiring V12. With just over 2,100 square feet to cover and an exterior renovation in order, Karavaev Brothers needed a team who could pack a visual punch into a space that still streamlined food service. Needless to say, V12 was more than up to the task.

With walls constructed almost entirely of glass, the café’s interior catches the eye. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Yellow screens separate seated customers from the display counter. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The glowing shelf above the display counter is constructed of transparent acrylic. Coated in semi-transparent film, the shelf alters in appearance depending on the angle of view, lighting, and time of day. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Floating fiberboard shelves add a dynamic element to the back wall. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The central counter, lined with handmade Dutch tiles, serves multiple functions as a coffee station, visitor landing area, and extra storage space. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The curved edges of the metal mesh clouds and fiberboard shelves work together to unify the space visually. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The walls of the bathroom are lined with perforated glass panels. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Forming a vibrant band across the space, the elongated display counter streamlines the checkout process. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The combination of many reflective surfaces in one space creates visual cohesion. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Neon and decorative lighting is provided by Deltalight, Kreon, and Fabbian. One of V12’s goals was to create a “bright, eye-catching shop” that would make a bold statement in an otherwise subdued part of town. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The display counter’s mirrored base is composed of an unusual mixture of suspended terrazzo. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The ceramic tiles throughout the space were handmade by Dutch artisans. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Leeza Semionova and Eugeniy Shchetinkin of V12 Architects. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
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