Yellow trapezoidal arch at the top of a german ice cream shop to create an optical illusion


Keep banana ice cream shop by martino hutz architecture

The dynamic Keep Banana by Martino Hutz Architecture Glacier is nestled in Munich historic old town, located in the side wing of the Gothic Sendlinger Tor in a central pedestrian area. The vegan ice cream shop only uses bananas that are too old for sale but just perfect for ice cream, inspiring the architect’s bold use of vaults and side walls painted bright yellow – the key unifying design element of the project. The small, attractive and contemporary storefront is inviting and austere against its neutral stone backdrop, catching the attention of passers-by. The large arch cut into the exterior wall is mirrored inside with the striking trapezoidal vaulted ceiling that creates a forced perspective and optical illusion.

all images courtesy of Martino Hutz Architecture

the spada roman palazzo inspires the use of forced perspective

Martino Hutz opts for a large arched entrance open to the facade with a swinging tree door that opens fully to merge the interior with the exterior. The designer tops the ice cream shop with a trapezoidal vault that mirrors the arch of the doorway entrance, but juxtaposes its historic stonework with its dark yellow surface. To design this unique and playful ceiling concept, Hutz was inspired by the design of the historic Palazzo Spada built by Francesco Borromini in Rome in 1635. The vault consists of three arches that cover the store in a bold, uninterrupted ‘brushstroke’. A longer conical arch initially reacts to the entrance. It extends from the wide arched doorway, resulting in an unexpected and forced perspective that creates an optical illusion. The other two arches next to it counter and frame the room.

Yellow trapezoidal arch tops a german banana ice cream shop to create an optical illusion
the existing arched doorway was replaced with a larger, more open entrance

bold yellow sidewalls and arches enliven the space

The German glacier’s monochrome color palette enlivens the space and creates a bright and bold interior with an energetic and welcoming atmosphere. Reflective white walls complement and soften the radiant yellow vaults to give off a serene and welcoming vibe. The surfaces are complemented by a textured broom finish that accentuates the arches and creates an interesting directionality. The absence of decorative elements and the limited use of color ensure that the key unifying design elements and the optical illusion are the most outstanding features of this project.

The minimalist oak wood furniture has a clean longitudinal layout, which separates the customer area from the service area. The mobile counter can be moved to the front of the store to sit at the arched entrance for direct street selling. Locating the counter at the boundary between the footpath and the interior of the store invites and engages more visitors, while enhancing the effect of forced perspective from the outside.

keep the banana ice cream shop 6
the store opens onto a pedestrian zone in historic downtown Munich

keep the banana ice cream shop 5
a minimal yet bold color palette is used to emphasize key unifying design elements


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