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When you think of most wine bars you think of an uptight contemporary scene with forced smiles amid the sound of clinking glasses. As you sip your wine, you try to relax but wonder why you are still stressed.

Not so, at the In Fine Spirits Wine Bar that Joel Berman Architecture created in Andersonville, Chicago. Here, the feel is like a comfortable, old-world, coffee house somehow made modern with natural colors and materials. It’s an innovative approach that preserves the best of the old and stylishly blends with what’s new.


Andersonville itself is a community of contrasts. Thanks to sensitive architects like Berman who have worked with many retailers here to preserve and honor the Andersonville’s past, it is definitely not a “yuppie-ville.”

The Andersonville community developed in the late 19th century from a Midwestern prairie to today’s “middle-class residential” neighborhood. Most of the buildings were built at the turn of the century with the names of early settlers and business establishments still chiseled on them.

Clark Street, the main business street in Andersonville, is a narrow, bustling street that meanders northward through city grids.

The retail spaces are small and average only between 500 to 1500 square feet. Everything feels crammed-in, yet friendly. Visitors are always impressed by the old-time look of the street. Many cultures and a hodgepodge of goods come together to create the distinctive Andersonville look and energy. Like the old,trading posts of the Wild West, there are household goods, furniture stores, antique shops, restaurants, and specialty shops selling everything from art to olive oil. Residents are Lebanese, Swedish, Persian, Italian, South American, German, and Asian, and they all live together in an area that embraces its ethnic diversity and,not surprisingly, its sexual orientations. As a well-known gay community,there is a huge respect both for the individual of today as well as for the Old World architecture

To capture all of these various Andersonville elements, Berman looks to the simplicity of nature which dictates the placement of the tables, chairs and bar stools at In Fine Spirits. Bartenders and customers feel relaxed right away and are quick to talk to each other here. In keeping with the history of the building, Joel hones in on the fine details—even the duct system, the track lights, and ceiling panels all follow a natural color palette.

Individualism and nature are the keynotes that Berman used to create this wine bar that invites everyone from all corners of city life to mingle and socialize.


The owner of In Fine Spirits wanted to preserve the fine features of the old building and agreed that they should try to hold on to the past while adding the warmth of a clean, all-natural setting. Original materials were used wherever possible in this 1906 structure that was formerly the Capital Coffee Shop with a rental unit on the second floor. In another incarnation, it was also an animal clinic where the owners divided the space into tiny rooms, covered up the brick floor with carpeting, and added a ceiling. Berman knew right away that his main challenge would be to evaluate what original materials could be salvaged and what needed to be scrapped altogether. A lot of the original tin ceiling panels were damaged, and at first he thought that most of the windmill-shaped brick flooring were all right. On further examination,however,the animal clinic owners had not properly installed the brickwork.

Berman installed two small kitchen areas at the rear of the space and another kitchen in the second floor apartment. Original ceiling panels in the rear area were used to replace broken panels in the front. The remaining good panels were then re-used as coverings for the vertical common walls on the second floor. Then,locally-made red brick and dark tiles were purchased to decorate the walls and floors. All of these touches worked together to bring a natural look to the space while preserving its history. Berman designed the front part of the gallery to complement the historic character of Clark Street. He also installed a nook at the south end of the building using the store’s original, stone-framed windows which serve to acknowledge its history as the Capital Coffee Shop. Berman believes that using as much of the original building materials as possible helps preserve the spirit of a structure.


The wine shop is really a wine gallery that looks at home within the rich history of the Andersonville street. The owner wants this re-created space to serve as a place where wine lovers gather, not only to find great wine, but to celebrate the history of wine. Wine-loving patrons gather for private parties and meetings and tastings. Berman designed a full wine cellar and used colored panels for the both the floor and the cabinetry. The shop is a real beauty. The three panels on the store’s logo are the same pattern as the ones used in the shop.

Besides wine, In Fine Spirits also serves handcrafted cocktails and beers. Customers love the distinctive atmosphere so lovingly created here. Joel Berman Architecture has shaken up the traditional view of a wine bar as a toxic place and has created a a respite where people find calm and contentment as they immerse themselves in a time long gone by but not forgotten. At least, not in Andersonville.


Text LINDA, Photo courtesy of Joel Berman Architecture & Design

梦幻而令人沉迷的灯光,让人微醺的浓烈气味,声光电组合的现代感,酒杯清脆的碰撞声召唤着自由的人生……这是酒吧这个充满创新和情趣的夜色场所带给人们最直观的印象, 在这里人们大可忘乎所以,一醉方休。然而在Joel Berman设计的位于Andersonville的In Fine Spirits酒廊中,这样的场景却被如咖啡馆一般的优雅精致的氛围所替代,普通的红砖墙、富于历史风情的地砖,自然的风格让人很难想象自己身处一个酒吧之中,古朴的气息与建筑物和周边环境的历史氛围和谐相融,给人们带来另一种沉醉的感受。


Andersonville是一个充满矛盾的区域。芝加哥城市的繁华和现代在这里更多的演变为夹杂着多元文化的经典。这个建于19世纪晚期的地区不同于芝加哥宽阔的空间和大气风范的张扬,在将破败的市区重建成中产阶级居住区的进程中,大多数建于1900年左右的、带着原始商业贸易印记的石砌外墙得以留存。克拉克大街是Andersonville最主要的商业大道。 这条街非常狭窄,而且弯弯曲曲的,与芝加哥经典的又宽又直的商业大道大不相同。


与这样的建筑格局相匹配的是零售商业。 这里开设的大多是小型的、本土化经营的零售商业,大致的面积在500至1500平方英尺之间,这使整条街上的商店形成了有机的组织、稠密和亲密无间的氛围。除了商业建筑,大多数建筑也都符合芝加哥地块的标准,即125*25平方英尺。人们往往会被古典和精巧的城市布局以及建筑特色所吸引,但Andersonville拥有的却不仅仅是积淀百年的优雅。多元化是这里最大的特色,无论是从商品种类、人群还是文化来说,这里都充满着精彩和诱惑。 Andersonville是一个家具、家居用品、古董、艺术品、特色食品的集散地,这里混杂着黎巴嫩人、瑞典人、波斯人、意大利人、南美人……各种人群,另外这里的同性恋酒吧和餐厅也享有盛名。另类的多元文化赋予了别样的商业色彩,追寻历史的足迹却不忘现代的繁华,尊重城市文明却也彰显个性。


为了体现这种精神,Joel Berman在In Fine Spirits酒廊设计的过程中处处强调了自然和民主。装饰的格调是简洁的、模式化、具有亲和力。桌子、椅子、能够让酒吧服务人员和顾客平视对话的高吧台椅等都以淳朴的方式表现出崇尚平等的民主;而裸露在外的螺线管道系统、轨道和射灯的配合、较深的天花板色彩都是为了营造出这个特殊空间中的历史氛围。


在In Fine Spirits酒廊这个项目中,业主对于完整保存酒吧所处的历史建筑的需求与Joel Berman一贯可持续发展的理念相契合。能够通过酒吧反映出这个地区百年之前的历史感和自然感,尽可能地使用原有建筑残留的材料,成为酒吧建筑过程中最需要把控的要点。这栋始建于1906年的有着醇厚历史的建筑最早是Capital咖啡店的所在地,二层则是出租公寓。在In Fine Spirits酒廊开设之前的30年,这里是一家宠物医院。宠物医院的业主将开放的空间予以分割,在原有的锡制天花板下做了吊顶,并且在原有的地砖上铺了地毯。Joel Berman意识到自己首要的任务就是对建筑进行重新评估,看看哪些地方可以翻新,哪些物料可以再利用。最初的拼图锡制天花板有一些损坏,原始的风车图形的地砖大部分是完好无缺的,但是因为之前业主所做的空间分割,这些地砖摆放得不太规则。Joel Berman在建筑的后端和二层空间分别安放了一间紧凑的厨房,然后用后端空间中的一些原始天花板来弥补建筑前部残缺的天花,虽然这样的拼贴并不完全天衣无缝,也足以表现出具有历史情趣的芝加哥商业景象。多出来的天花板材料用以覆盖酒吧二楼的公共垂直面,地上则用黑色的瓷砖进行了点缀。芝加哥普通红砖装饰着墙体,为这个空间增添了原始的自然。酒吧的正面具有一定的角度,是为了匹配克拉克大街。在建筑的南面,为了表达对原始建筑的敬意,Joel Berman还特别设计了凹进的入口,已呈现原始的石砌窗框。有机组合的拼贴设计,使In Fine Spirits酒廊与之前的Capital咖啡店有了紧密的联系,同时尽可能地再利用原有的建筑材料也是一种可持续发展的建筑精神。


作为In Fine Spirits酒行的延伸部分,In Fine Spirits酒廊是传承酒文化和表达审美感的新作,业主希望这个休闲却又高端的酒廊能够为爱酒人士提供酒文化教育和私人聚会的绝佳场所。在酒行项目中,Joel Berman使用不同宽度的橡木地板和双色的橡木箱子,小心翼翼地创造出一个富有美感的酒窖,而酒廊使酒行独特的审美感得以扩大。酒廊的LOGO也是3个方块,不过里面的酒杯有所不同,一个是葡萄酒杯,一个是马提尼酒杯,另外一个是啤酒杯。为客户设计定制的玻璃工艺店的门头上,LOGO清晰而显著地呈现。这样的标识图形在一层酒吧的上方通过方块油画的形式重复展示。求同存异的设计使两家店面有着各自独立却又相关的品牌,表达相关性却并不刻意彰显。酒行是用于传播酒文化、经营葡萄酒和烈酒的场所,而酒廊则是体验酒文化、分享美酒的小憩之处。除了葡萄酒,IN Fine Spirits酒廊还提供手工酿造的鸡尾酒和啤酒。酒吧在特殊的环境中取悦顾客,这是一种真实的现代主义,又处处体现Andersonville根深蒂固的历史气息。Joel Berman颠覆了人们对于酒吧的传统看法,将单纯的买醉场所转化为温馨平实的修身养性之地,在追忆历史、追求自然之中尽情沉醉。

21 Apr 09  By: Joel Berman

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