House of Wine is a wine bar and tasting room designed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers and located in Znojmo, in the heart of the Moravian region in the Czech Republic. Set in a converted 19th-century brewery, which includes its adjacent technical space added to the structure in the 1970s, the project overlooks a 9th-century chapel and a neighboring Gothic church. The site reflects the town’s many architectural layers and histories. Merging two spaces with distinct heritages and adopting individual approaches and understandings of renovation for each, the architects respond to the respective building’s structural past and function, and in the process, rethink conventional notions on restoration.
Ph. Laurian Ghinitoiu
Restored and preserved to retain its original essence, the 19th-century brewery is treated as a heritage site. Rather than being 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. Preserving only the outer structure of the former technical hall to house an entirely new internal space, the House of Wine reconsiders the space as an adjustable and voided volume. A playful arrangement of organic volumes set on various planes divide this white cube into individual spaces, reflecting the scale and atmosphere of the 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.
Through a complex set of asymmetrical windows, distributed to reflect the division of the interior space into various rooms, the former technical hall opens up to the surrounding views of the neighboring churches, the town, and the river valley. Revealing exterior views to a building that has seldom acknowledged them, the windows invite visitors to engage in a dialog with the region and its landscape while anchoring this seemingly anachronistic structure as part of the architectural treasures of the town. The tone of the façade is a combination of the neighboring buildings’ distinct colors, affirming a sense of architectural and historical belonging.
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 that originally erected this architecturally bare structure at the heart of the city.
Discussing the project, founding architect Ondřej Chybík explains, “The House of Wine challenges the traditional notions for restoring historical buildings. The presence of two distinct structures, each with their own history and original function, inspired us to adopt distinct approaches to renovation. On the one hand, we adhere to a rather orthodox restoration, based on preservation; on the other hand, we embrace a more experimental–and unusual–approach that fully rethinks the initial structure. In doing so, we immerse ourselves in the town’s heritage and landscape, while establishing the House of Wine as a part, a reconciliation and a continuation of its architectural history.”
Ph. Alex shoots buildings
DATE: 2019 / LOCATION: Znojmo, Czech Republic / PROGRAM: wine bar / STATUS: built / DESIGN: CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers / TEAM: Ondřej Chybik, Michal Krištof, Ondřej Mundl, Luděk Šimoník, Martin Holý, Roman Koplík, Lenka Vořechovská, Vratislav Zika, Hanka AlGibury, Petr Novák, Michal Klimeš / PHOTOS: Laurian Ghinitoiu / Alex Shoots Buildings