Loosely inspired by a 1920s speakeasy, Deep Dive takes its aesthetic inspiration from the worlds of Charles Darwin and Jules Verne, capturing the human spirit of curiosity and imagination. Accessed via a nondescript entryway tucked discretely between the two Amazon Spheres, the bar unfolds as a journey. “We didn’t want it to be a canned story about a prohibition-era speakeasy. We wanted it to feel like an old library more than a bar.”
Deep Dive is created out of one of three residual spaces located between and below the spheres (Graham Baba also designed Understory, a multipurpose exhibit venue that occupies one of the other two spaces). The design of Deep Dive embraces its inherent spatial limitations: small scale, varying ceiling heights, and complicated shape. Inside, a gently sloping ramp brings guests into a sophisticated environment eschewing minimalism, favoring a rich array of materials and objects. “When you descend, you enter into this dark relic that's tinged with a sense of Victorian magic and mysticism.” The floor plan mirrors the complex space with a curved, tufted velvet banquette, and gently curved bar. The intimate 1,677-square-foot space is wrapped in wood, punctuated by shelves and niches supporting an array of natural objects and assorted artifacts, transforming the space into a veritable cabinet of curiosities. The setting unfolds as a series of vignettes; entry, bar seating area, and library.
Overhead, the ceiling is composed of a custom-designed array of suspended steel “ribbons,” which add drama to the space, while simultaneously concealing the existing mechanical equipment which dips into the space. Velvet covered occasional seating, small cocktail tables, and antique furnishings round out the space. The library, separated from the primary bar by a steel-framed and glass paneled wall, and furnished with an eclectic mix of antiques, provides a private space for small gatherings. Carpets, drapes, luxurious fabrics, and dark woods (stained ash, oak, and walnut), custom metalwork handrails, and decorative panels round out the space.
Graham Baba Architects design team Jim Graham Ellen Cecil Susan Tillack Connor Davidge Francesco Borghesi Carlos Lopes