Warsaw's Projekt Praga brings in specialist joiners,light artists, ceramicists and metalworkers to restore 16th century Tenczynek Brewery as modern Taproom bar and restaurant
By way of a toast to the festive season, we bring you Warsaw practice Projekt Praga’s design for a taproom and eatery inside the brick-vaulted shell of a neglected but still extant 16th century brewery building in the village of Tenczynek, west of Krakow in Poland. Crowdfunded back into life, it has, in part, been reinvented as a home for a new brewer, to produce their artisan beer and aqua vitae.
The idea of craft has been fundamental, explains Projekt Praga’s Marcin Garbacki, with the practice channelling the brewer’s ethos into the design of the space itself, working with artisans that it had collaborated with on earlier projects to give the space a quite special, handmade feel.
Its decision to leave the space pretty much as found meant that the firm did little more structurally than consolidate brick walls, though it did install timber and tile floors to replace rough concrete. With some vaults finished in a cossetting, dark insulating spray, a womb-like feel is evinced too by the walls’ warm ox-blood colour, with mirrored panels creating a doppelganger effect. As a centrepiece to the bar, the architect referenced traditional eastern European tiled hearths – but here dispensing self-service drafts rather than heat.
The sense of craft pervades. Metalworker Tomasz Bartyzel made the new steel windows and bespoke glazed partition that separates public areas from the brewer’s alembic still, as well as the Bauhaus-inspired shelves in a clashing bright red, counterpointing the space in both colour and style. Local joiner Ibron created the perimeter joinery hiding radiators, while Artur Czajka worked on the chairs and tables. Hanging above are ceramic lamps which were designed by the architect and hand-made by ceramicists Andrzej Bero and Piotr Linca. And dominating the space, the steam-punk chandelier – all tiny glass panels, metal and wires, was designed by Lithuanian light artist Justyn Oboladze. ‘On its own, it brings a stunning quality to the space,’ remarks Garbacki.
There's an homage to those that believed in the project – notice that ‘tiled’ wall on entering? Draw close and you’ll find it’s in fact hundreds of brushed copper plates, each embossed with donors’ names. Garbacki calls it his ‘Wall of Fame,’ whose patina, over time, will never dull the fruits of their collective effort.