Local-based practice KMAN Studio was appointed to design the interior of a traditional oriental hookah bar in Sofia, Bulgaria. To do so, they looked for references in the ‘One thousand and one nights’ stories, and in the intricate geometric patterns adorning classical Islamic architecture.
Enjoying hookah is a social rather than individual experience, in which friends share a pipe around a table over hours, having long conversations, playing board games, or simply enjoying their company. Thus, the main focus was the lounge area, around which a custom 3D printed sculptural ceiling wraps gently and provides a careful yet fluid balance between privacy and openness. The result is an elegant and welcoming space where traditional patterns play with modern technologies and design techniques.
Generated by 7456 wooden cylinders, the shape is in constant play with the ground following the curvatures on the floor and emphasizing the contours. The furniture’s organic shapes allow for a simple and intuitive reconfiguration of the space, depending on the size of the group and their desire to isolate themselves or stay in contact with the rest of the bar. The entrance is defined as a separate volume, forming a buffering zone between the noisy street and the abstract atmosphere inside.