The Press is a colourful sandwich shop, looking immediately familiar to passersby, but a number of edgier, more contemporary details call for a second look: the smooth, finished countertops in colourful shades, neon lighting strips and polished minimalism of the furnishings set against unfinished walls, rough concrete walls and floors, plus a dramatic, asymmetrical drop ceiling create an unconventional scene that inspires curiosity in the space. The centrepiece of the room is a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine, a camouflage door which splits vertically to swing open and reveal the entrance to Flask.
Stepping into the tunnel between The Press and Flask, the visitor enters a mysterious space with warm, muted lighting and the murmurs of bar patrons to invite further curiosity.
An array of angular cubes cascading towards the entrance are illuminated by a striking drop ceiling with a copper lighting arrangement inside. A floor-to-ceiling shelving unit stands right next to the entrance; 25 litre whiskey bottles with a built-in spotlight on each bottle illuminate the amber glow of the liquid inside. A wall installation features rows of flasks hidden behind a mysterious layer—like the speakeasy itself, only their outline discernible.
The rest of the space is designed to feel private and personal. Lighting is kept minimal and muted, creating an overall glowing effect that lifts the conventionally imposing feeling of low ceilings.
Looking from the right side to the left of the venue, the heights of the seats and table surfaces are lowered, raised, and lowered again to create a dynamic landscape within a compact, enclosed space. Similarly, the wooden floorboards parallel this fluid movement by going from dark, to light and back to darker wood. Two distinct mirrors complete the cozy feel of the venue.
Design by: Alberto Caiola
Photos by: Shen Zhonghai