ARCHEOLOGY AT A JAZZ CLUB During renovation works in an old historic building from the late 18th century in the traditional Berggasse in Vienna, a walled staircase was found. It led to a second basement area of twelve meters deep with approximately 250 square meters. Located between Votivkirche and Sigmund Freud’s apartment, this cocktail and underground bar is an aesthetic gem.
Historical research showed that it was an establishment in the 50s and 60s in an era of the flourishing jazz scene in Vienna represented by names like Joe Zawinul or Fatty George. So, the generic “genius loci” did not have to be invented but simply revealed. The circulation and dramaturgy of the cocktail bar begin at a narrow, uncovered entrance door that leads to a first level of the basement, which contains the closet and a foyer reflected a “floating” staircase, suggesting a touch of “Sunset” Boulevard. ” This route leads directly to the main bar of seven meters. Several alcoves, a hidden stand, the smallest art gallery in Vienna and secret corridors surround the centerpiece and give the impression of being an almost surreal place, stopped in time.
Due to the strict limitations related to the preservation of a historic building, all equipment and construction devices were placed on a concrete floor plate and on a load truss that was generated directly from the engineering requirements. The entire static structure, as well as the ventilation pipes and other installations, were coated in gold composition. The floor plate is covered with a layer of Italian marble Nero Marquina manually placed in a spigot union.
The lining of the bar counter was cut from a huge block of Sahara black marble, applied in a mirror pattern, and the backplate was made of solid European wood. The furniture and lighting give the impression of being directly brought from a museum of international furniture design. The famous Platrs Arm Chairs by Knoll, the candlelight of Ingo Maurer or the Sofa DS-1025 of Ubald Klug are arranged with the new Bean bags by Alexander Wang for Poltrona Frau.
About Büro KLK | Kohlmayr Lutter Knapp The “systemic design office” that was founded by the three eponymous partners Theresia Kohlmayr (1985), Jonathan Lutter (1981) and Christian Knapp (1980) in 2010 gained experience in the fields of gastronomy and temporary use just in the beginning of their cooperation in the form of the project “Betonküche”. Here, the empty shops facing the street in a variety of places across Vienna were converted for a single night into pop-up restaurants. This approach continued in the form of hotel rooms under the name “Urbanauts” and, more recently, was developed and professionalized under the umbrella brand Grätzlhotel. His work has been considered in the context of exhibitions, awards, and nominations (American Architecture Award 2017, Austrian State Design Award 2013, German Design Award 2015).