Svobody 4 is a wine and music bar in the historical center of Minsk, Belarus. Svoboda, meaning Freedom, is not only the name of the square where the place is located, it is the very concept of the design. Aiming towards a relaxed atmosphere, the idea is that the space itself makes people want to come back (even several times throughout the same day). A raw palette with some rough material finishes shows the sincerity and humbleness of the place, not dressed to pretend. A simple goal: to feel that one is never where he or she should not be, be it elegant or sneakers, at breakfast or late night, the selection of materials, furniture and custom made pieces all work together to achieve it.
The project was commissioned by a team of young and energetic restaurateurs, who wanted to create a place full of life and with unique atmosphere in the very center of Minsk. The clients envisioned the project with a fresh contemporary design yet discreet as the bar is located on the ground floor of a historic building.
The initial space was very promising as it had high ceilings, large windows facing one of the main streets of the city, and as well a rich history concealed under layers of wallpaper and mirrors. The ceiling was cladded with corrugated steel sheets and reinforced with iron beams, which we saw as a potential feature that gave an industrial twist to the space.
We decided to leave the walls bare to reveal the natural palimpsest from the times of Gostiny Dvor (traditional indoor marketplace) to the modern day.
To develop the industrial look of the space we designed a series of raw steel elements – a wine rack made of steel pipes, steel welded boxes above the bars and the bar itself, made of unfinished concrete (with traces of wooden shuttering) and a thick 12mm steel sheet.
A ladder designed to reach the wine bottles stored at the very top of the rack at times becomes a dancing spot for the barman when a party reaches its peak.
A selection of chairs by a famous scandinavian furniture, reclaimed wood table tops produced by a Moscow based factory, combined with oak floors gave the bar its warm wooden touch.
The place looks very different at night due to the selection of designer luminaires, that also give a chic look to the bar.
A constant collaboration with the client and the exchange of ideas defined the project as it is right now. At first an austere, almost monochrome color scheme was chosen, but at some point the clients insisted on adding bright colors to the project, and this is how the yellow and the green sofas appeared. Now the colors divide the bar naturally into two zones: a more active and public front room in yellow tones and a more intimate and tranquil emerald area at the back.
The love of the clients for good music brought about the idea of making a specially dedicated music area featuring a stylish mid century like console with a vinyl player on top, professional speakers and a shelf with a careful selection of vinyls that is now the heart of the place.
The bar has become a new attraction in Minsk and is getting a lot of good reviews on the design and especially its atmosphere.
- Architect: Maria Serova
- Architect: David Diaz