Museumscafé Mettlach

It is fashioned from floor to ceiling in the style of the famous Dresden Dairy Store, which Villeroy&Boch designed and completed for the successful farmer and businessman, Paul Pfund, in 1802. This showpiece of historical shopfitting features walls, floors, pillars and counter that are covered entirely with decorative tiles and has been recreated here in a larger version on the basis of old templates. The nostalgic café that accommodates some 70 visitors over an area spanning 150 m2 is located in a former factory hall inside the Old Abbey, today’s company headquarters.

The aim was to recreate the expression and beauty of the historical original as all the templates for decorating the Dresden Dairy Store have been preserved in the form of elaborate sales catalogues, which are still in the company’s archives. These richly illustrated catalogues are testimony to the tremendous variety and specialisation displayed by the iconic tile ranges by Villeroy&Boch. As early as the 19th century, an important element of the individual tile concepts was the fact that they were hand painted by artists, a feature that enabled Villeroy&Boch to make a name for itself all over Europe. Museumscafé in Mettlach:

Atelier Kutsche, which had already restored the Dresden Dairy Store in 1995, was commissioned with the artistic execution. In conjunction with Villeroy & Boch’s creative staff, these ceramic artists hand-painted illustrations and ornaments in minute, painstaking detail. Extensive technical expertise flowed into a reproduction that was entirely true to the original: former production techniques were used for the casting process (reconstructing moulds by hand) and for the underglaze and onglaze processes.

A total of 15,000 ceramic elements came together to create a unique, rhythmic interplay of shapes and colours that continues into the smallest corners of the room. However, due to its intended use, the layout of the room is noticeably different from the original. Justus Thiede and Wolfgang Held, who are in charge of the interior design concept at Villeroy&Boch, created three semi-open spaces for the guest area, creating an attractive, almost private feeling. Each of the three rooms directs the attention toward a central structure – the lavishly decorated counter. The visitor experiences a wealth of visual correspondence between the pictures, ornaments, reliefs and their reproduction in strategically positioned mirrors.

Villeroy&Boch AG commissioned AtelierKutsche with the execution of the new café in the Museum of Ceramics in Mettlach.