Fitzrovia - London
Recalling the Kärntner Bar in Vienna by early twentieth-century modernist architect Adolf Loos, the design creates a series of intimate spaces that distort perception through reflection and translucency. Kärntner Space accommodates a restaurant and bar in two rooms, separated by a flight of stairs—but carefully placed mirrors and translucent surfaces create the perception that these intimate enclosures are two of many located within a much larger space.
Existing structural elements and services are encased in cement render and arranged in an incomplete grid. This grid is visually and mentally extended by high-level mirrored surfaces that preclude the perception of one's own reflection, or the limits of the grid—creating a sense of infinite space. The bench seating and bars are articulated as sculptural elements through the application of seamless dark timber cladding, while various tables and walls are dematerialized by the illumination of their translucent material surfaces.