The Italian designer Cristina Celestino has skillfully succeeded in combining art and design, innovation and tradition in a space that amazes the unsuspecting tourists as much as the local customers. Your gaze wonder around and follow the space lines, lingering over the refined elements of the bar and breathing in an atmosphere that is immediately enveloping.
Entering Experimental Cocktail Club is like stepping into a magical Wes Anderson’s world while never leaving Venice. The step that leads us inside the bar made in terrazzo alla Veneziana is immediately warning us that Venice will be the protagonist inside as well: before entering, it is almost instinctive to look over your shoulder to get a glimpse of the Giudecca and its canal stretching majestically before you.
The project refers to a common imaginary and historical elements which she handles with a contemporary language: by doing so the objects take on a surreal and timeless dimension, enhanced by the raspberry sorbet-like color pervading the space.
While you're waiting for an exotic cocktail, you can't help but notice the three layers of marble that make up the top part of the counter, the real protagonist of the space: the three coloured marble segments are a reference to the stones used in the Basilica of San Marco. Torchon, which is a decorative element on many Venetian historic buildings, is used for the frame of back-bar furnitures: these are made of purple lacquered wood, giving the space an almost fairy-tale atmosphere. The renowned architect has also managed to effectively mix male and female elements: the lights on the counter are reminiscent of dangling earrings and those on the wall of pearl earrings.
The gold and green inlaid regimental carpet that continues up onto the walls like a skirting board reminds us of typical male cravats while the tables are reminiscent of cuff links. The mirrors all around the space evocate Venetian windows (Serlians) and the walls opposite the bar, made of marmorino framed with black metal, are an homage to Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, one of her biggest sources of inspiration.
Celestino declines the torchon in different material: it becomes the frame of the wall mirrors, in an interplay of shapes and materials that amazes and charms.
You can leave the space through a glass door reminiscent of "Through the looking glass" - it is like leaving one magical place to reach another. If we shift our gaze upwards, the portholes looking out over Zattere and Giudecca almost seem to invite us to peep out, as if we were cruising the canal on board of a ship.
The colours blend perfectly, the light is warm and charming, and every element is eye-catching: few will be able to resist pulling out their mobile and taking a picture to post on IG: another way in which the bar relates to the contemporary world.
The whole space act is a declaration of love to Venice and to the contamination of the arts and materials: a unique and captivating place where we look to the past while immersing ourselves in the future. Leaving this atmospheric and cozy world can be a difficult challenge: all we have to do is wait for the lights in the bar to slowly dim, leaving us with only the candlelight on the tables deep in the night. We leave the bar taking with us a bit of magic and the desire to return as soon as possible. Cheers!