Modern minimalism and authentic inn tradition

Thonet furniture and pulpo lighting for the German Wirtshaus Mättle

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19/11/2020 - In the far southwest corner of Baden-Württemberg Germany, in the city of Lörrach, Michelin-starred chef Nicolai Wiedmer and his family run the restaurant 'Wirtshaus Mättle' a traditional inn that dates back to the 19th century. Here the family serve up traditional cuisine fused with international influences in an atmosphere that is both down to earth and refreshing. 
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The internationally renowned designer Sebastian Herkner was brought in for the interior design, who has equipped the modern inn with a new and simple room concept. Herkner integrated his own designs, as well as designs by other designers and custom-made products. Among the furniture and lighting manufacturers are well-known brands such as Thonet, Pulpo, Freifrau, Pedrali and Very Wood.
"We wanted to continue the tavern tradition, but make the whole thing a bit more refined. As with our furniture, the focus is on details, colors and materials," says the German designer.
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Today, the Wirtshaus Mättle consists of a bright, open dining area, the THEODOR cellar and an inviting beer garden. The Wiedmer family are passionate about looking after their guests. The restaurant serves family dinners, extensive breakfast buffets and home baking from Grandma Heidi. The inn can also cater for private functions. Chef Nicolas Marceau serves up traditional dishes with his own special twist, which pay tribute to their roots and showcase local ingredients. This combination of old and new is perfectly complemented by the interior design choices and in particular the Thonet chairs. 
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Just as Marceau’s cuisine creates a bridge to the past, the Thonet 118 chair also intentionally channels tradition. The chair, which was created by Sebastian Herkner in 2018, has a seat frame bent from a single piece of wood. The number of individual parts has thus been reduced to an absolute minimum. This minimalism makes a direct reference to the 214, the archetype of the Thonet chair, as well as to the principle developed in the middle of the 19th century by Michael Thonet, who reduced a chair to the fewest elements possible. The 118 is a classic wooden chair that affords a subtle elegance to any dining room setting, whether at home or in a restaurant. 
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The 118 never looks out of place but blends organically into the overall look and feel of a room. The chair is characterized by its clean lines, but looks equally good in a traditional dining room or coffee house: it combines traditional and modern in one piece of furniture”, enthuses Norbert Ruf, Creative Director and Managing Director at Thonet. 
Black versions of the chair with canework seats create visual accents, while a version stained in an elegant (customised) shade of taupe fits perfectly into Herkner’s colour scheme of organic tones. 
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The Stellar collection by pulpo with its modern look, combined with the down-to-earth expression of mouth-blown glass in handcrafted production is the ideal complement to the interior design. The spherical lamps with a frosted acetate finish emit a soft light, which gives the interior a pleasant atmosphere. The contrast of smooth, frosted and textured surfaces takes advantage of the glass's ability to distort and reflect light. Stellar is inspired by intergalactic shapes and creates a feeling of space in the inn's rooms.
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In each aspect of the project there has been a tremendous attention to detail, creating a coherent overall vision. “Using authentic colours, shapes and materials, but also by ensuring a very high-quality finish, attention to detail and a strong connection to the region, we have created an innovative inn 2.0", explains Sebastian Herkner, who is more than happy with the harmonious interior design and the Wiedmer family’s gastronomy concept.

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