Kocka Bar by Minusplus, Budapest – Hungary

November 13th, 2014 by retail design blog

The Kocka bar is located in the heart of the entertainment district of Budapest, in the busy junction of a pedestrian walkway and the bar-street of Kazinczy utca. Its freestanding situation is unique in the surrounding, and the monolithic cubic volume (kocka translates to cube in Hungarian) is an easily recognizable landmark. It has a huge potential to become an iconic building of the entertainment district.

The building is a restoration of a hundred year old workshop. Due to structural problems only the surrounding walls could be kept of the original building, which allowed a completely free treatment of the inner spaces. To connect them to the bustling urban environment the envelope is pierced through by large openingsto all directions. Apart from the restored historic street façade, the volume is remodelled with contrasting clear, white tiles, enhanced by the extraordinary lighting. The rooftop terrace expands the link between the bar and the city.

The interior provides various spatial situations for the different uses – a bar, a restaurant, a café and a club – on each level. All of these floors are interconnected, unexpected visual prospects open among them. This vertical space-sequence is entered in its middle, the roomy ground floor gives access towards both directions. Towards the vivid and lively bar and club underground, and to the calmer café and restaurant upstairs.

Counterpointing the spatial variety, the uniform concrete surfaces and the black steel staircases create integration and clarity in the interior. Lacking additional decorative elements only the custom made counters, furniture and lighting fixtures respond to this modesty with their unusual materials, colourful surfaces and sometimes surreal atmosphere.

During the renovation the building was fully insulated. Its heating and cooling needs are solved by the excess heating of the neighbouring residential building’s geothermal heat pump. The low temperature system is used in built-in ceiling heating, allowing a very energy efficient solution for both heating in winter and for passive cooling in summer. The ventilation system is equipped with high efficiency heat exchanger. All lighting fixtures are low energy consumption LED lights.

Architects: Minusplus
Architect In Charge: Zsolt Alexa, Donát Rabb, Ákos Schreck, Ferenc Kis, Tímea Molnár, Szabina Pap, Balázs Turai
Photographs: Tamás Bujnovszky, Bertalan Soós


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