Down the lanes of Wasagasse, Vienna, there are empty street front shops and there’s an ancient heritage building on the location that existed since the late 18th century, in which the building has just been transformed into a cocktail and underground bar, which is quite an aesthetical gem.
BFA and Büro KLK Architects were tasked to convert the spaces within, playing around with the theme “Archeology in a Jazz Club” and breathe life into the venue again where visitors to the bar+club can lounge and chill out at ease.
According to the historical investigations, the heritage building was described as “a semi-legal establishment in the 50ies and 60ies in an era of Vienna’s flourishing jazz scene represented by names as Joe Zawinul or Fatty George.” To retain the old world’s charm, nothing needs to be reinvented but simply reveal the generic “genius loci”.
Due to some strict guidelines concerning the conservation of a historic building, the interior design works embraced a few challenges; the static structure, the ventilating pipes and other additional installations were cladded in gold composites, the krypt.bar sprawled over the long structural flooring made of Italian nero marquina marble and each tile had to be manually laid in a herringbone bond. Moreover, the structures within had to be secured with a load-bearing trussing in-line with the engineering requirements.
But as with all such interior spaces, the whole idea is to bring illumination to the space. Distinct furniture and lighting element such as the Platner arm chairs by Knoll and the candle light designed by Ingo Maurer are placed in krypt.bar to exude an impression as if it was “directly carried out of a museum of international furniture design”.
Leading to the indoor bar lounge, the undecorated brick wall exudes a quiet and deep sense of aura greet the guests upon entering. There’s a mirrored vestibule to a “floating” staircase which was implemented in a contemporary style throughout the design to suggest a touch of “Sunset Boulevard”.
To create a “nearly surreal venue fallen out of times” impression, the interior designers constructed several alcoves, a hidden booth, secret hallways surround the centerpiece along with a small art gallery.
The project was completed in Spring 2017.