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issue 9 - Aug/Sep 2012
CURVE magazine cover Aug/Sep 2012
    

Evolution Bar

Evolution Blending

The Old With The New Club
FROM 1781, WHEN IT WAS BUILT, CAFENEAUA VECHE, KNOWN AS THE OLD CAFÉ IN ENGLISH, HAS BEEN A CULTURAL LANDMARK. ITS GENEROUS FACADE COMES COMPLETE WITH WHITE WALLS AND A DARK ROOF. AND ITS FUNCTION-ONE OF THE FEW BUILT ESPECIALLY TO BE A CAFÉ- SETS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THIS QUITE UNUSUAL BUILDING FROM THE CORNER OF COVACI (BLACKSMITHS) AND SEPCARI (HAT MAKERS) STREETS. The Old Café became a playground in which the architects tried to blend its historical values and the client's demands

As the revival of the old Bucharest center reaches its peak, converting low brick vaulted undergrounds into glamorous clubs and trade spaces into fancy restaurants and pubs, the client decided it was time for a Mediterranean touch for Cafeneaua Veche. Thus, The Old Café became a playground in which the architects tried to blend its historical values and the client's demands. As the Italian-esque restaurant image had nothing to do with the space, the designers at Vizual Art found a connection between the Ottoman influence of the 18th century in Bucharest and the Byzantine influence in Italy. So, they decided that the building should be a place where one could 'discover' traces of Byzantine times, by means of patented paintings and furniture, mosaics and some objets trouvés. "On every piece we have designed, 'time left its marks'. From paintings that look old and time worn to all the furniture pieces of the restaurant, which were custom made or provided by Romanian manufacturers, everything was patented; mosaic models come right from historical Byzantine designs. Even the bottles which decorate the front of the bar have a twist-they are all slightly melted, so that the original form is still recognizable but look as if they were forgotten in the hot oven," explained Vizual Art designer Sebastian Barlica. The bar is surrounded by colorful stools (provided by Moir) and couches, and functions as a Happy Hour space for coffee and drinks. On every piece we have designed, time left its marks

The pizza bar connects with the kitchen via a small window near the custom made and mosaic decorated oven; the working space is separated from the client's space by a massive structural beam, decorated with painted burlesque characters. In the dining area, the designers mixed slightly different types of chairs and colorful upholstery. Beside the wine display and the pendant lights, the concept of the restaurant design emphasizes the floor and wall's discrete decoration. This natural light flooded space has an open view to the urban plaza right in front of the building, so the plan layout is also subordinated to the best exterior view angles. The Evolution Club on the underground is connected to the restaurant via a circulation area, containing the stairs, the club's wardrobe and its separate entrance; the dark patented walls contrast with the led lighted custom made railing and the Spacewalker pendant lights suspended randomly.

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