ENO Wine Bar takes a minimalist design approach to a space in DC’s historic Georgetown neighborhood. The small existing space called for an open layout and subtle material palette in order to make wine the central focus. The existing structure houses the core functional elements: two levels of dining & wine/food prep., and a private dining space on the lower level. The two-story addition along the back alley is the primary bar circulation & wine storage as well as a more modern visual connector to the adjacent context: the entry drive to the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel.
The existing building’s inner masonry carcass is kept exposed while contrasting the addition of a central ‘floating’ floor plate of rich oak floor & ceiling. This juxtaposition is seen as an expression of old and new and becomes a subtle way of telling a story, for instance, the evolution of a wine barrel being reused with a different function in a modern way. A central double height space is meant to encourage social interaction and connectivity between the two seating levels while playing focus on the main bar below, the essential core of the space. The center of this double height space provided the opportunity to incorporate a large art piece, which makes a powerful and dynamic statement while attempting to connect directly to its’ context. The object is seen as a ‘freeze-frame’ portrait of a wine barrel exploding outward from the space’s epicenter. Much in the way the wine bar’s new, rich oak floors, ceilings, and millwork carved within the older building’s historic ruins call attention to its’ history and evolution, the sculpture, too, becomes an expression of the individual pieces that once made the barrel whole.
Project Team: Dwayne MacEwen [Principal Architect]
Aaron Beyers Project Architect]
Project Scope: 3,500 SF