House of Wine
Chybik + Kristof Architects & Urban Designers have completed the House of Wine, a wine bar and tasting room located in Znojmo, in the heart of the Moravian region (Czech Republic). Set in a converted 19th-century brewery and its adjacent technical space added to the structure in the 1970s, the project overlooks a 9thcentury chapel and neighboring Gothic church – reflecting the town’s many architectural layers and histories. Merging two spaces with distinct heritages and adopting individual approaches of renovation for each, the architects respond to the respective building’s structural past and function, all the while rethinking conventional notions on restoration.
Restored and preserved to retain its original essence, the 19th-century brewery is treated as a heritage site. Rather than architectural, the renovation is functional. The classical rectangular edifice is redefined as a historical exhibition space and wine bar, inviting visitors to delve into the rich history of the Moravian wine culture.
Conversely, preserving only the outer structure of the former technical hall to house an entirely new internal space, the House of Wine reconsiders it as a wide adjustable and void volume. A playful arrangement of organic volumes set on various planes divide this ‘white cube’ into individual spaces, thereby reflecting the scale and atmosphere of traditional wine cellars of the region through several smaller interconnected rooms. This newly-conceived wine bar redefines both the hall’s initial architecture and its function.
The House of Wine echoes the original buildings and the town’s history of transformation, while acting as a reminder of the complex interaction between the sociopolitical structures that have marked its architecture. Specifically, the architects draw attention to the technical hall as the expression of the cynicism of the Communist regime, which initially erected this architectural bare structure at the heart of a historically rich city.