Completion Year: 1996
Program: 1500 SF
Beinfield Project Team: Bruce Beinfield, FAIA
“A Bar This Cool” by Bruce Beinfield FAIA The FC CT Beat Fall 2014: 34-35
Barcelona Wine Bar is a 1500 sf Restaurant and Bar located in South Norwalk, Ct. offering Mediterranean cuisine served in small “Tapas” portions. The owners’ desire was to create a place that was “just beyond ordinary experience…a vessel for journeying into a celebration of the night”. The restaurant is sited on the northern edge of the SoNo redevelopment, directly across the street from a new eight-plex cinema. The image as seen from the theatre lobby needed to be strong enough to lure movie goers.
The design solution utilizes ordinary urban, industrial materials-including steel, particle board, and concrete- with the intent of elevating and transforming materials typically viewed as cold and mundane into something mysterious, warm, and sensual.
A new steel industrial sash storefront ties the restaurant to the circa 1924 brick building while reiterating the use of industrial materials. A strong pattern of architectural elements ties the space together, ordered by an imposed 3 foot module running the length of the 15’x60′ space. The hot rolled steel ceiling ribs reference the “vessel” metaphor; the patron bar counter and its exposed steel brackets minimize the depth of the bar structure to maximize patron area in the narrow room. The black walnut bartop and shelves maintain their organic edge, playing off the crisp steel forms elsewhere in the space. A color impregnated plaster wall, with a linseed oil and waxed finish, together with specially designed cylindrical paper light fixtures, provide a simple backdrop to the visually active bar.