Beer and confessional: Bar in Antwerp Cathedral
Architect: Van Staeyen Intérieur
Location: Groenplaats 21, 2000 Antwerpen (BE)
Van Staeyen Interior Architects has transformed the Chapel of St. John at Antwerp's Cathedral of Our Lady into a reception area where a small bar by the name of Café De Plek provides an inviting place for a beer or coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. The open-topped carpentry cube designed by the architects rises directly from the ground at the centre of the chapel and comes with external dimensions of 3.20 metres. Individually produced tables with chairs to match organise the chapel space around the bar and can be positioned or combined as required. The bar's side are completely executed in French Douglas fir. Inside the cube a worktop and storage space in the form of custom-made shelving make maximum use of the limited space.
Architectural elements of the place of worship in the Gothic style are incorporated in the design in various ways. Van Staeyen Interior Architects embellished the wooden cube not on the inside as otherwise usual in the Gothic period, but on its outside, with the structuring of the carpentry outer walls recalling cross ribs, for example. The surfaces inside the bar are smooth and unembellished on the other hand, and come in a bright blue that references one of the shades in the stained glass windows. A pointed arch forms the entrance. Large openings shaped like a four-leaved clover, a pentagon and a curved triangle in the three other sides act as serving windows and provide opportunities to look into the inside of the little bar.