- A traditional 21st century pub in Prague
Vinohrady is a green and fashionable district in Prague with Art Decò style buildings painted in pastel colours. Lots of young, well-off professionals from all over the world call it home. The zone is particularly famous for its international bars, hot coffee spots and dance clubs. Outdoor markets are held on the green Náměstí Míru or “Peace Square” overlooked by the bold neogothic church of St Ludmila. The district is named after the old vineyards of Prague that are now making a comeback, also due to climate change.
This forms the backdrop for the latest work by the young designers from mar.s architects, Výčep, an (un)traditional pub. Actually, you’d think it would be easy to construct a new pub in Prague but that isn’t the case it all, because there are lots of pitfalls to overcome, particularly in the design. The first risk is falling into the trap of false history, creating a nostalgic reinterpretation of a past that never really existed, a past that is only the fruit of our imagination. Another one is to design an overly trendy venue that becomes outmoded as soon as it opens and doesn’t have the typical friendly warmth you would expect from a pub.
The Výčep restaurant is situated in a tenement house in Vinohrady, Prague’s former vineyard. The goal of mar.s architects was to design a traditional Czech pub that serves traditional Czech beer and food but to interpret it on the basis of 21st-century tastes. The first thing they did was to define the typical features of a classic, early 20th-century Czech pub and employ them in a contemporary environment. The focal point is the bar that greets visitors as soon as you step through the door. Every pub worth its name has a bar for patrons to lean on as they drink their local lager on tap.
Timber cladding was once very common inside pubs and protected the walls from damage. Here they are alternated with a band of washable green paint, which twists and turns around the whole space and connects all the walls, each of which is made from completely different materials. The oak boards on the floors have been arranged according to the traditional herringbone pattern. The furniture brings together atypical wooden benches and tables and typical TON Banana pub chairs in dark brown. The wooden coffered ceiling is enlivened by a neon light fitting by Vojtěch Kálecký who also designed the strip lights above the tables that stretch from the entrance across the whole restaurant. Other light fittings are glass and are in traditional shapes made by the Czech manufacturer Osmont.
The interior design proposed by mar.s architects sets the scene for the venue’s real core business of delivering excellent beers and fine food of the Czech tradition revisited from a contemporary perspective, just like the architectural setting!
Project: mar.s architects - https://www.marsarchitects.cz/
Location: Prague, Czech Republic