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JK Lab Architects: From Bank to Eastman restaurant

25 Jan, 2021
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JK Lab Architects: From Bank to Eastman restaurant

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There is not so much high-quality modern architecture in Odessa and Kyiv yet, says the architect and founder of JK Lab Architects Zhanna Kiseleva. However, she is just one of those who are working to change the situation.


JK Lab Architects was founded in 2011. The worldwide studio is based in Odessa, Ukraine. Main directions of activity of the studio: architecture, Horeca & retail design, hotel design, Spa&beauty salon design, furniture and product design. Today, a design portfolio of JK Lab Architects consists of more than 10 hotels, 20 restaurants and bars, 50 private interiors, etc.

In October 2020, Eastman restaurant has opened in Kiyv on Velyka Vasylkivska street in the former bank premises. The dishes are a symbiosis of Indian, Chinese, Thai, Sri Lankan cuisines. JK Lab Architects took care of every single detail.

The brightest and most complex, multi-level and multifaceted restaurant project for us this year is the Eastman restaurant. Together with the FIRST LINE GROUP team we have been working for over a year on the project of this largest, fourteenth FLG restaurant project.

For JK Lab Architects it was an experience of scaling, an experience of breaking boundaries, design stereotypes and architectural dogmas. Over the year, the former bank premises turned into a cozy restaurant.

They managed partially to save the travertine floor left from the bank and to bring new life, combining with tiles and parquet.

Special attention was paid to the zoning of the restaurant: such a large space and its height allowed to bring together different atmospheres such as the New York restaurant interior, Sri Lankan charm, Hindu mythology, Balinese greens and spicy oriental cuisine. The idea of ​​the restaurant combines the multiculturalism and richness of the East. The restaurant's interior design filled with oriental meanings and metaphors as much as possible.

The sculptures were brought from Kharkov. They were created in 1998 by the sculptor Yuri Kochmar for the Maternity Hospital club in Kharkov, after which they were closed and purchased and carefully preserved by Dima Zaporozhets. Many years later, the Sculptor restored them specifically for the interior of the Eastman restaurant. And in the final design version three sculptures found their place in the restaurant and became its original symbols.

The round table which was brought from Sri Lanka and revived specifically for this project, in combination with an Indian woodworker and vintage armchairs at the panoramic windows make up the first zone. The plant baskets descending along the columns and creating the atmosphere of tropical resorts were made according to the drawings of JK LAB Architects.

The working and public areas have been detailed in hundreds of blueprints. The final work on the design and decoration was carried out in collaboration with the main ideologist of FLG and the author of the project Dima Zaporozhets. Zhanna Kiseleva and the JK Lab Architects team helped to embody the most daring and charismatic ideas in this project.

Track lighting in the restaurant was chosen as the most mobile and allowed to set accents and build the atmosphere of a tropical oriental Mix. The accent light highlighted important green areas with vines, highlighted sculptures, graffiti and filled the tables with incredibly tasty dishes by brand chef Vova Tashaev.

Photo: Margo Didichenko for The Village Ukraine


JK Lab Architects team

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