The brief: to transform the vaulted interior of an Old Town house in one of the world's most beautiful cities into an inviting and cosy place to enjoy the exquisite taste of natural wines. The result: the Autentista Wine Bar in Prague, a venue as luxurious as the wines it serves, yet simple and natural, in keeping with the way natural wines are made.
"By definition, a natural wine should be produced without any extra added ingredients and with respect for nature," explains architect Dagmar Stepanova, of Formafatal, the design studio behind the stunning recreation. "Similarly, the bar's design stays true to these principles…. all materials are presented in their original and pure form. Prefabricated steel sections are not concealed by pigmented coating; their natural patina shines through. Sanded steel joining elements are left on show, unconcealed. This is what makes such constructions truly authentic."
Above the bar table, there is an atypical lamp, made of scorched acacia log. Like other features, it is faithful to the poetics of wine. For many years acacia wood was the go-to material for fence posts enclosing vineyards because its burnt finish increased the wood's soil resistance and therefore longevity. Further references to wine and nature can be found in the gradients on the table prints, the cement‑texture paint on the floors and backyard walls. Eye-catching Moooi Meshmatic chandeliers, suspended from the striking vaulted ceiling, complement the interior concept thanks to their pure form.
While the new space is all about wine, there is a nod its past use as a literary café, with night sky graphic prints covering the sides of the bar, courtesy of artist Janko Dočekal. If you really needed another reason to visit Prague and revel in the joy of its architecture, bridges and streetscapes, then it could well be a visit to the Autentista Wine Bar.