Brutally warm

Erco and Bocci bring an element of warmth to a brutalist concrete megastructure

There’s been a bit of a buzz around Berlin’s Wedding district since the opening of Arno Brandlhuber’s mixed-use Lobe Block last year – a staggered concrete building in a quiet corner of Humboldthain that’s home to ateliers, studios, agencies, and apartments. Its resident restaurant and “platform for creative experiences” is Baldon (formerly Pahr), founded by Jessica-Joyce Sidon and Caecilia Baldszu.

Many elements here support local: Coffee beans come from the nearby Coffee Circle, The light-flooded interior is filled with sleek tables by Tatkraft in Reinickendorf, and two large-scale artworks by Peter Klare, whose studios are located in the Uferhallen, adorn the towering walls.

To come up with a suitable lighting concept for the space, Baldon turned to Berlin-based lighting designer Patrick McCumiskey. In order to contrast Arno Brandlhuber’s brutalist geometry within the space, the 2,700K Erco Pollux spot fixtures – positioned on parallel running tracks hung from the ceiling – were specified to award the otherwise cold and angular dining space with a warm and inviting aesthetic. 

An additional decorative element was included within the space in the form of a custom luminaire from Bocci, which hangs tantalisingly from then stairwell to produce a warm and elegant touch to an otherwise brutally modernist interior. The overall result is a surprisingly intimate dining experience – an accolade not normally associated with brutalism.


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