There is a historic building in the center, a pre-revolutionary 4-story revenue house built in 1900 that is an architectural landmark. The project team had to redesign the existing facility to accommodate a new intriguing place while preserving the historic shell-stone facades.
One of the goals in developing the design concept for the second Virgin Izakaya Bar is to introduce as many people as possible to Japan’s extraordinarily vibrant and diverse nightlife culture. And to make the audience more imbued with the atmosphere, the team had to rethink the most interesting traditional elements and integrate them into these walls.
The building is an example of neoclassicism, harmoniously combining the features of Art Nouveau and ancient Roman architectural traditions. In the decoration of the central facade, a plurality of details has been preserved that are unique to Odessa and have no analogs in the design of other houses of that period. The restaurant is on three levels with an area of 560 square meters that include a spacious ground floor with a terrace, a mezzanine with a banquet room, and a secret room that serves as a bar on the ground floor.
Concept and Realization
While working on the project, the studio team felt inspired by the atmosphere of nighttime Japan, where evening entertainment has always been and remains an integral part of the culture. As a result, the restaurant’s interior features an abundance of the traditional red, natural unlacquered wood, bare concrete, accent lighting, and the decorative elements typical of Japan.
To form a connection with the architecture of Asia, the studio designers implemented a custom mezzanine arch made of metal mesh, painted in red, which adds the necessary authenticity to the space and acts as an additional element for expanding the existing mezzanine. By doing so, the project’s architects managed to increase the area of the mezzanine floor and place a banquet hall in addition to the small hall. The designers also decorated the restaurant’s ceiling of 4.5 height with oak slats, forming a single pattern with wooden shutters on the first-floor windows.
A series of black marble steps from the first floor leads to the secret room, a unique lounge area at Virgin Izakaya Bar Odesa. The designers used fabric wallpaper with Japanese patterns to decorate it. These same captivating patterns as on the wallpaper are also visible on the sofas. The designers also made one of the walls in this room in a decorative panel with wooden cells and tassels. Here, fine bartenders prepare and pour the hottest drinks in the bars that are sure to let the mysterious atmosphere of Japanese entertainment settle in the soul of anyone who enters the secret room. Each element in this room complements the overall mood. From the dim light to the lanterns above the bar, the cozy sofas, the aged mirrors, and the darkened steps — the way out is not apparent.
There are tables of different sizes, the upholstered furniture, the armchairs, the bar counter, and all the metal products, including the main arched structure and the decorative metal elements for lighting. For this project, the team used natural materials as part of the design concept of the space. The designers chose tabletops of natural wood, lamps of copper, genuine leather, and seats and chairs of wood. In addition, the metal itself and metal mesh perform both the function of space zoning and creative decorative elements.