Berlin Bar, Moscow

Designed by: Thilo Reich
For client: Berlin Bar, Moscow Floor area: 180.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Best Use of Material


Public Score
6.06
6.00 Function
6.03 Innovation
6.14 Creativity
Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design17
© Ivan Erofeev

The pavement plates—available in five standard forms since pre-World War II—are now a massive bar that combines all five types into a sculptural object.

About the Project

When invited to design a Berlin Bar in Moscow, the Berlin-based architect proposed a radical yet poetic translation. His concept transfers the public space of Berlin into an interior space of Moscow. Within the intimate bar he created a social environment with concrete wall reliefs of Berlin sidewalks. These castings of pavement segments, taken personally by the architect, reflect on the exchange and history between Berlin and Moscow: the sidewalk in front of Café Moskau, the former demarcation line between the Russian and the American Sector (Checkpoint Charlie) and the Berlin Wall, Glienicker Brücke and the district of Charlottenburg with it’s traditionally large Russian population. The pavement stones are formed and imbued with the history of the city and its people, holding traces of Berlin life and its dramatic political changes. With the exception of the historic Stolpersteine monument, these are an aspect of daily life that seems to go largely unnoticed. Through an abstract concrete image, Reich offers us a glimpse into the myriad of Berlin histories stored within. As a side effect, the vertically positioned ground plates of the bar construction also cite the prefab buildings that dominate Berlin’s cityscape and the artistic reliefs often found on facades and foyers of socialist architecture. The design concept connects Berlin with Moscow—yet with the roughness of the gray wall paneling and minimalistic use of concrete in contrast to the often colorful and golden interiors of gastronomical establishments in Moscow.

What’s unique about it

Unique to Berlin are the everyday paving stones’ patterns and arrangements that Reich translates into castings, as are the prefab concrete stones used as tabletops and for the bar counter. Available in five standard forms since pre-World War II, these generic paving stones have been grinded and polished into tabletop surfaces, exposing elegant brass lines between each stone. A massive bar combines all five types into a singular sculptural object.

Using Berlin’s urban street elements as a script runs through Reich’s entire design concept; a narrative that consequently picks up on many traces and moments of Berlin life. The bar lamps—on first view glowing and winding bands of light weaving through the room—are made up of modules from East-Berlin street lights. The structure of the brown leather benches come from simple beer benches - once an import from Southern Germany, they are now an integral part of Berlins streetscape. Further precise details reveal hand blown cocktail glasses made with the same diamond structure as the tables and a mirror created from repurposed reflecting window panes of the former Palast der Republik building. Only materials from Berlin have been used and all elements were entirely produced in Berlin. In the spacial design, past and present are closely entwined. The Berlin Bar reflects on the historic connection between Moscow and Berlin while still celebrating Berlins present; the unfinished, the rough, the urban and the beauty that lies underneath.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design15
© Ivan Erofeev

Light installation made of re-purposed Berlin street lights, vintage German industrial chairs and concrete furniture made from Berlin flagstones.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design20
© Ivan Erofeev

Wall imprints and polished bar counter top made from original Berlin pavement stones.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design22
© Ivan Erofeev

Castings of pavement segments taken personally by the architect in public places around Berlin reflect on the history and exchange between Berlin and Moscow.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design2
© Ivan Erofeev

The structure of the brown leather benches come from simple beer benches - once an import from Southern Germany, they are now an integral part of Berlin’s streetscape.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design7
© Ivan Erofeev

Table tops made of concrete pavement stones that are grinded and polished - exposing elegant lines of brass and many variations of Berlin's unique pavement patterns.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design26
© Ivan Erofeev

Table tops made of concrete paving stones - grinded and polished to expose very elegant brass lines.

Berlin Bar Moscow Thilo Reich Architectural Design11
© Ivan Erofeev

Bar counter made from Berlin concrete paving stones. Light shades made from former street lights. Wall imprints of Berlin pavement in historically significant areas.

Makingof
© Thilo Reich

Making-of of the concrete pavement imprints at historically important places around Berlin.

Berlin Bar2
Location of project:
Credits:
Thilo Reich

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