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Elle Decor Italia

The Krypt Bar, from 1950s jazz temple to underground cocktail bar

The metamorphosis of an ancient building dating back to 18th century turned into a charming underground bar thanks to the restoration by the architecture firm Büro KLK


The cocktail bar designed by the Büro KLK architecture firm reaches down 12 metres underground

Underground venues like The Krypt Bar have always fascinated our imagination - particularly if they are secret or hidden – from the days of prohibition until today. Without forgetting the jazz era of 1950s and 1960s, when many old buildings were used for small concerts, from Paris to Prague. And Vienna too was part of the jazz scene of those years, a city where today you’ll find The Krypt Bar, whose name says it all.

This underground cocktail bar in the 1950s and 1960s was an institution – not altogether legal- which hosted big names of the Viennese jazz scene, like Joe Zawinul and Fatty George. The original building dates back to the 18th century, and it was restored by studio Büro KLK: the architects turned this space into a contemporary underground bar reaching down 12 metres underground. A narrow entrance door leads to the first basement level, where you can glimpse the original walls; you then go down 7 metres through an illuminated wooden staircase, where you can see also the ancient stone arches. Throughout the bar, several alcoves, a hidden cabin, and even the smallest art gallery in Vienna, besides many secret corridors surrounding the central room.

In the lounge area, all the equipment lays on the cement plate floor and a bearing pole, installed for structural purposes. The old ventilation pipes were maintained, upholstered in gold and turned into a distinctive feature. The concrete slab covering the entire space is in turn covered by a layer of Italian Nero marquina marble, manually installed in a herringbone pattern. The many alcoves offer plenty of seating areas for guests, each with its own character: from the dim room with dark leather sofas hidden by curtains to the open spaces with comfortable sofas and brown armchairs. One of the alcoves features a raised floor that houses blue sofas and hidden lighting. The Krypt Bar is a charming cocktail bar combining an intriguing history and a future yet to be written.  


by Essia Sahli / 27 November 2017


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