EXPOSING
EAST AND CENTRAL
EUROPEAN

ARCHITECTURE

Location: Danilevskogo str., Kharkov, Ukraine
Function: restaurant
Area: 232 sq m
Status: realized (2005)
Materials: glass, copper, metal
Authors: Oleg Drozdov, Irina Goydenko, Vyacheslav Zhemir
Photo: Andrey Avdeenko

The project celebrates the old modernist idea of the total penetration of internal space into the exterior. What lends Yaske its quality, however, are not the fully glazed façades of the rectangular ground-floor volume (toilets, kitchen and service rooms being the only interior areas hidden from view), but rather the striking contrast between the gentle transparency of this volume and the monumental impenetrability of the surrounding buildings.

This total transparency – extending to the smallest detail in the interior including plastic stools and the almost invisible needle-like legs of the tables – turns into something completely different with the coming of evening, as the internal space of the sushi bar is flooded with the bright light of the lamps. Then the glass walls turn into screens which reflect every thing and person inside the bar. In contrast with indistinct masses of the surrounding buildings, the bright lantern of the bar seems to live in the darkness of the night.

The area is divided into three functional areas. The first one – totally closed and hidden from the view – is technological area that houses toilets, kitchen and service rooms. The second – transparent and ultimately open – is the dining hall.

The spherical volume on top of the building has soundproof walls which makes it a perfect place for a karaoke room. This ellipsoid volume, raised on three slanting piers, is conceived as a contrast to the lower regular volume, not only in the sense of form but also because of its more private character. The only transparent detail of this part of the building is a horizontal window, a kind of a porthole intended for controlled observation of the outside world. The privacy of the karaoke room is further emphasized by its deliberately limited accessibility. An elegant spiral staircase leads to a narrow hole through which visitors pass into the cabin one by one. Unlike the solid and smooth furniture in the bar, the furnishings of the karaoke room appear to be made of soft and tactile fabric. The cool halogen light on the ground floor is exchanged for a warm, soft pink glow.

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