House of Wine
Znojmo, Czech Republic
A wine bar and tasting room challenges conventional notions on restoration by combining two different approaches in a single intervention.
The architecture and urban design practice CHYBIK+KRISTOF designed the ‘House of Wine,’ a wine bar and wine tasting room in the city of Znojmo, in the heart of the Moravia region of the Czech Republic. It is set in a 19th century brewery and the technical space that was added to it in the 1970s, and overlooks a 9th-century chapel and a Gothic church, reflecting the town’s history and architectural layers. Two spaces – each with its distinct heritage – are fused, and in the process they are understood and tackled differently. The architects address each part’s particular structural and functional past, giving traditional notions on restoring historical constructions a rethinking. The project tries to preserve the original essence of the place, and is ultimately more a functional than an architectural renovation.
Besides a wine bar, the older building – rectangular in form – is redefined as a showcase of the history of the place, inviting visitors into the rich tradition of Moravian viniculture. In contrast, to create an altogether new interior space, only the outer structure of the old technical hall was maintained, so the ‘House of Wine’ is reborn as a large, empty, adjustable space. A cheerful arrangement of organic volumes on different planes divides the ‘white cube’ into several separate spaces, recreating the scale and atmosphere of the region’s traditional wine cellars through a series of interconnected small spaces. This new configuration redefines the function and initial form of the atrium.
Due to the asymmetrical arrangement of the windows – caused in turn by the division of the interior space – the technical hall opens out to views of Znojmo, blending with it like an anachronistic structure and becoming part of its architectural culture, and urging visitors to participate in the dialogue between the region and its landscape.
The tone of the facade, on the other hand, is the result of combining the colors of the neighboring buildings, which is further reinforcement of the project’s historical and aesthetic belongingness.