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. 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, niches, and cloches, 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.
Deep Dive is much more than a simple bar at The Spheres. It’s s showcase of the architectural team’s fine work of transforming a challenging space into a social space with a distinctive and memorable look and feel. An itinerary for a Seattle visit should include a stop at this mysterious bar, where one can relax and settle into one of the majestic armchairs in the library.
All photos by Haris Kenjar
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Graham Baba Architects design team
Grahama Baba Architects (concept, interior architecture, design lead)
Sea Creatures (tenant)
Okano Picard Studio (architectural support)
Charlie Hellstern Interior Design (interior design)
Curtis Steiner (collections curation)
Arup (structural / mechanical / electrical / acoustical / AV)
Karen Braitmayer (accessibility)
CMA Restaurant Supply (bar equipment)
Spearhead (pre-fabrication for custom steel ribbon ceiling)
Custom Interiors (casework fabrication)
Architectural Elements (custom metalwork)
Resolute (custom bar lighting)