In a long and fruitful discussion with our clients we could reinterpet the classic idea of a winebar. The whole space is for the guest – everyone is sitting or standing together. There is no behind and infront of the bar. The Sommelier and his tools and his expertise becomes an important part of the space where the guest enjoy and learn about wine. Everyone is gathering around one massive bar which is almost to big for the 75m2 space. This critical mass is inhabitint the center of the space and everyone entering the room is directly confronted with it - It's fascinating and challenging. The bar is made of 5 pieces with a total weight of 19tons of Lasa Marble from the north of italy. The stones are massive and raw – there are holes which were necessary for lifting them into the space and there are traces which tells a narrative about transport and handcraft.
It's an extraordinary winebar in every sense. It's in the old town of Zurich in a house that was rebuilt in the early 70ties. Neither house nor place have a connection to wine. This clash of culture and context made it possible to work on an experimental concept about history and what defines a space.
The new function of the space is an import to the old town – so is the atmosphere. We created identity and atmosphere disconnected from the given space. The given space never had any characteristics that could carry a strong experience. It's not about a space made of stone or a space made of would or a space made of clay - all the defining elements of the space are rich but abstract. With some rather brutal structural changes the space was opened up and liberated from a lot of fragmenting walls. All the cuts remain raw and the only treatment is a new black-and-white horizon with which we neglected the given geometry. It's not about the shape of the space anymore - it's about layers of materials and stories. There is blue velvet and ceramics and brass and stone. every material with it's own logic, details and geometry.
The overlapping geoemetries create a complex definition of space. All the elements obviously belong together even thought they're clearly defined by their own logic. The lighting concept creates a cartesian raster that makes the different orientations even more evident and connect the interior to the narrow alley in front of the bar. This critical unity of elements is easy to get but hard to fully understand. Simple and strong elements form a unity that is calm and rich without ever being simple – almost like wine.