Assistant Architect: Lida Mparou
BARREL INN is the Beer Garden of the 21st century, inviting the visitors to an experiential promenade through different functions related to beer: production, taste and commerce. Villa Zarri’s former aging cellar hosts these new activities in a key-location that makes them visible from the street. The strong identity of the existing structure is preserved, at its largest part, as the new architectural design does not only respect the existing shell, but is getting inspired by it as well. The distinct curved roof of the cellar is interpreted as a grid of barrels and inspires us to create a unique experience for the beer lovers: the perception of a barrel from the inside! While the existing roof consists of 25 small curved plates, the proposal introduces a zone of 3 larger curved plates to highlight the main entrance, slightly projecting from the building outline. The load-bearing structure of the cellar is kept intact, while the outer walls have been replaced by glass panels, in order to enable natural lighting.
As far as the interior arrangement is concerned, the multipurpose area and the restaurant are located on the ground and on the first floor respectively, constitute the heart of the building and give the chance for isolation when needed (e.g. special events or different opening hours). All of the other building’s services are developed on the ground floor suggesting a smooth counter-clockwise movement starting from the lobby, though the laboratory, the tasting hall and finally the shop. The absence of intermediate floors makes every area easily accessible by everyone. In the middle zone, the conceivable barrel curve is evident from the roof, to the furniture (exposition stands and amphitheater) and continues even below the ground in an attempt to enhance the experiential narrative for the visitors. Barley fields surround the building in order to establish a strong connection with the raw material that creates the malt and later the beer.