Occupying an early 20th century building in the heart of Karaköy, the burgeoning epicenter for the city’s contemporary art and social scene, Gaspar is a two-storey gastro-bar and lounge rolled into one. Proposed by Autoban, the redesign of the property, originally erected to function as a letterpress-printing house, saw a creative and engaging transformation while restoring the building’s original grandeur.
While the exterior is brought to its former glory by fully revealing the original stone façade and reinstalling arched window frames made of iron, the interior design concept of Gaspar is based on 'Cabinet of Curiosities' - an idea flourished in Renaissance Europe during the 16th century. The term describes a collection of types of objects whose categorical boundaries are yet to be defined. As a method of organization, the collected objects are arranged by 'knolling', basically the process of arranging objects in parallel or at 90-degree angles on surfaces.
At Gaspar, overlapping plywood panels, produced in different shades and sizes, and positioned at various levels in a mathematical order, create a second shell in the form of a wooden cube that is placed inside the building. Covering the interior vertically and horizontally, the plywood surfaces create a sense of randomness as well as depth, a perception amplified by the high ceilings.
The central staircase and the illuminated glass surfaces behind the plywood panels are also among the key design elements that reinforce the perception of volume within the interior. The lighting is specially designed in a holistic manner to punctuate the systematical diversity while also illuminating particular surfaces and objects.
On the ground floor, an L-shaped bar made entirely of basalt is positioned upon entrance to maintain interaction with the street. The floor is covered with natural stone tiles, and furnished with custom-designed tables, chairs and barstools. The more intimate setting of the second level is provided by lounge seating in velvet upholstery placed around a cosy fireplace.