The stylish waterfront buildings that previously housed the town’s library are now a popular Italian restaurant. The transformation called for extensive renovation and redesign in which the original cement-bonded wood wool ceiling panels were allowed to remain.
With a stunning location on Hadsund’s harbour front, davinci ristorante has been offering its guests gourmet Italian cuisine and spectacular views of the inlet ever since 2006. Before then, the building housed the town’s municipal library, which satisfied people’s appetite for knowledge rather than food.
Back then, davinci ristorante was already a well-established venue in the town’s pedestrian shopping street, but as it had plans to expand with more parties and outside catering, it needed more space, and the owner saw the potential of the harbour premises.
A dull starting point
The architect, designer and owner of the design agency Bønnelycke MDD, Henrik Bønnelycke, was given the challenging task of transforming the slightly dull municipal building into an inviting restaurant. The first challenge was the physical condition of the building, as cracks and damage to the foundations needed repairing. The hidden problems proved expensive to repair, and accounted for a large proportion of the renovation budget. The second challenge was to infuse the building with character and charm.
“It’s often something that comes from retaining some of the original elements when renovating. However, in this case there was simply nothing to preserve. If it had been a beautiful library from the 1930s, it would have been a completely different matter. Our starting point here was a simple brick façade dotted with turquoise-coloured diagonals in true 1980s style,” says Henrik Bønnelycke.
Complete makeover, ceilings apart
Inside, everything needed replacing and redesigning to match the building’s new function. Among other things, this meant new floors, toilets, furniture and fittings and, in particular, building two large kitchens. Here, the architect chose to design the centrally placed kitchens as two distinctive cubes, like two small structures at the heart of the building.
The building comprises three parallel wings with pitched roofs, so there many square metres of ceiling. These were already clad with Troldtekt panels, and were basically all that was allowed to remain intact during the renovation work.
“Troldtekt is a good way of creating fantastic acoustics – it was handed to us on a plate here,” says Henrik Bønnelycke.