Since September 2010 the Hessian state capital Wiesbaden – principally known for its extensive heritage of buildings dating from the Wilhelminian era – has been the richer for an inspiring home of contemporary design. Café/bar Spital, an exceptional cultural and gastronomic project and a meeting point for Wiesbaden’s art and design scene, has now opened up a restaurant section with seating for 132 guests. The creative ideas of 34-year-old owner Khaldoun Cheikh Dibes have been in evidence in this monument-protected pump room on Kochbrunnenplatz for more than 11 years now. Dibes is passionate about food as well as a lover and collector of design and sees Spital as a stage where varying ambiances can be created. Over the last decade, the café/bar has repeatedly been the scene of temporary art installations. In addition to this, at the weekends Spital boasts a varied DJ and events program. The concept behind the recently opened extension has been thought through down to the very last detail. And what particularly distinguishes it is the delicately orchestrated interplay between old and new.
Spital restaurant's interior design is based on the idea of clearly separating the historical building fabric from the new extension. All the built-in elements and other items of furniture give the appearance of being removable again in a very short time without leaving any visible traces. Apart from the glazing, the two rows of arcades have remained untouched by new architectural structures, with the result that the patina of the fluted semi-columns and pilasters is revealed to full effect. In order to preserve the grand impression made by the hall, which is almost 40 meters long and more than five meters high, the decision was taken to forego vertically oriented elements that would break up the longitudinal axis. Instead, two podiums divide up the restaurant's 261 sq. m. of floor space into four differently styled zones. On the larger one, the restaurant's bar and kitchen are amalgamated to form a functional unit positioned at the front end of the long room. The largely custom-made furnishings blend in harmoniously with the room's subtle colours and materials, where delicate shades of white and dark grey, plus light woods predominate. There is a small lounge area between the two podiums in the middle of the hall, an inviting option in the daytime for relaxing with a good book or for a chat. Suspended from the ceiling, over 100 custom-made LED stick lights form a modern interpretation of candelabras. The café/bar located on the lower floor has been designed as an experimental area that can be transformed at will. Work by various artists becomes part of the interior decoration for a certain time, lending the room ever new content and changing images.