Interior of Gretel Café-Parlour in Moscow draws on Grimm’s fairy tale

Interior of Gretel Café-Parlour in Moscow draws on Grimm’s fairy tale

  • Array Tereza

  • 1 year ago

Gretel Café is a Moscow-based classic café situated near the intersection with Strastnoy Boulevard, in a historic neoclassical building. The interior was designed by Moscow-based ARCHPOINT bureau.

“Both the name and the design refer to the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale about a candy house. Visitors find themselves in a fabulous two-story building with a large selection of confectionery. The stucco on the ceiling and the column resemble real custard. The large red door at the entrance, symmetrically located between two displays, catches the eye and is organically inscribed into the house’s facade. The right window reveals cakes in abundance, and the left one shows people sitting at tables. Guests enter through a spacious entrance area. The accent here is the floor laid with small pentagonal black and white tiles: they form an inscription CAKES, pointing towards a display with cakes. A large oak buffet divides the ground floor into two zones, creating an illusion of two different rooms. The entrance area hosts a coffee bar, a display with sweets, a bar counter with high chairs by the window and several tables. Two ground floor halls are separated with an alcohol bar. The second room offers a more private space, detached from the city bustle. The second floor, with a cake-shaped column, looks more like a restaurant rather than a café. The lighting there is more chamber-like, with accents over the tables. To create home-like atmosphere designers chose to reject uniformity. The interior feels like it was not designed overnight, but was filling up gradually by several generations and for several decades. For example, Viennese chairs coexist with modern tables (again adorned with pentagonal tiles), and vintage green sofas stand side by side with leather chairs and marble white tables. The deliberately chaotic furniture, the abundance of sofas and chairs is typical for an American living room, which we know from the Friends TV Show. One of the recognizable interior elements is a large chandelier that descends from the stucco on the ceiling, pierces the upper floor and hangs over the central tables in the entrance area. The interior’s authors succeeded incombining the incompatible: a café and a bar, cosiness and spaciousness, fairy tale and reality. The result is a place where you can hang out as a big noisy company, or have a relaxing cup of coffee together with a friend,” says ARCHPOINT bureau

  • Location: Moscow, Russia
  • Date completed: 2019
  • Size: 3, 440 square feet
  • Design: ARCHPOINT bureau
  • Photos: Olga Melekestseva
Entrance area & large red door


Small pentagonal black & white tiles
Large oak buffet
High tables and stools
More private space
Mezzanine floor