Minimalist Lovers Cannot Miss this Modern Eatery in Kyiv

Less is more – the revolutionary aphorism by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – couldn’t be more evident in modern Kyiv-based eatery Istetyka

Conceived by Yakusha Design, their mission was to alter the perception and attitude of ready-to-eat food – turning the ordinary into a ritual and food into an experience.

Yakusha Design’s philosophy is connecting the earth through an ecological approach, with special attention paid to the materials and their origin. As well, the architects adhered to the natural balance; simple geometric shapes of the seats are gently softened by the rounded lines of the tables and lamps. The coldness of concrete walls and furniture meets the warmth of living clay. Roughness and uneven textures are balanced by the purity and smoothness of steel. Says Victoria Yakusha, founder of Yakusha Design and FAINA, “We combine modern materials and techniques with long-known, passed down from generation to generation. Clay walls, according to Ukrainian tradition, have very powerful energy.”

One enters Istetyka’s laconic entrance embodied in wood, clay walls and unprocessed concrete, into the eatery divided into three zones – the main dining area, smaller tables for up to two, and the kitchen. Sustainable materials are used throughout, such as ztista – based on clay, recycled paper and other natural components for the legs of tables, while an artisan has applied an ancient technique known as valkyvannia to the walls, bringing out a charming silhouette full of irregularities. Artisanal object d’art and accessories such as clay vases, macrame lamps and sconces around the space complete the look. Concludes Yakusha, “You don’t have to make something big to make it noticed. Here, we focused on the essence. And to emphasize it, we created a lot of air, enhancing the power of the void. Freedom allows us to see what's important.”

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Photos: Yevhenii Avramenko
Published on July 14, 2021