The transformation by the design firm JEAN DE LESSARD—DESIGNERS CRÉATIFS of a vast space abandoned for six years gave birth to the Ganadara Bar, last June. The design successfully modulates conflicting needs right from the start: to create a warm and comfortable environment, but in a place dictated by the aesthetics of Korean rap. The designers opted for the solid simplicity of wood, surrounded by a rougher shell of concrete and steel.
Starting from their main premise, they developed the notion of a collective space in a noisy nocturnal place, using the repetitive circular shape, particularly the central positioning of the functions and the peripheral walking area. The notion of “staged performance” is heightened, especially since lighting and its arrangement in space create vantage points with varied atmospheres.
“The place is designed in such a way that people are gathering at the bar counter. This geometry focuses energy inside the building”, explains Jean de Lessard.
The central island, which also serves as a kitchen, acts as a centripetal force. Decorative elements help turn the eyes back to the heart of the space: thick window curtains close in the place; then, a second layer and a third, respectively, a bamboo forest and a frosted glass partition, also form a barrier from the outside.
Another ingenious way to structure the space is the use of a suspended sculptural construction above the bar counter. These 2,700 pieces of timber of different lengths take up a fluid movement downward, thus having the eyes focusing again where it matters in a bar. Is it an allegory of the famous bamboo forest in Damyang or an aesthetic ploy to conceal the bulky HVAC system? One thing is certain, such a sculptural piece reinforces the ambient feeling of confinement. The theatricality of the place is exacerbated by the muted tones of burgundy and anthracite, while keeping pace with the rogue and sophisticated image of K-hip hop.
The last architectural gesture to tie up the space with humour is the angular shape of the bar counter. It represents a stylized adaptation of the Korean writing, referring to this dimension of hyper-sexualization hip hop calls its own…