Aebi & Vincent Architekten : Asino il Bar - best architects 21

Aebi & Vincent Architekten

Asino il Bar

best architects 21

interior work


Bern, Switzerland


Adrian Scheidegger


The corner of Casinoplatz and Hotelgasse in Bern has since the 1950s been graced by a shop window framed by elegant glazed arches. Behind it is a small room of just 23 square metres in an ideal location with a door onto the sunny square and a view down the picturesque Münstergasse: ready at last to become home to a bar. An Italian one as the materials reveal: crushed lava rock interspersed with white seashells, terrazzo flooring and a bench running the length of the window. Two polished chrome-plated steel and solid copper rods complete the bench so users can lean up against them in comfort. The glazing uses materials from the 1950s. Dark red beech panelling is finished with spar varnish. White gold leaf applied to the ceiling by the restorer reflects the mirrored headlight bulbs of the large chandelier and the pink neon strip on the wall, which is an original from the 1980s and a homage to Trix and Robert Haussmann. In the centre of the room, the counter is made entirely of pewter with an ingenious edge that is sensuous to the touch. In front of it are black bar stools by Horgenglarus and bistro tables designed by the architect. The work surface is white Venato marble. The interplay of materials creates a deliberate contrast with the rough finish of the upper sections of the wall, with the beams and supports as well as the front of the bench. No guest will ever feel lonely in this bar whose floor-to-ceiling mirror opposite the entrance ensures it doesn’t seem as small as it is.