Off Club is a restaurant/bar. Under one raw gold ceiling, it reunites the cinema of Kubrick and De Palma, Grand Theft Auto IV, Miami Art Deco District, the Escher’s perspectives, Byzantine iconostases, Japanese folding screens.
Conceived, built and represented by Antonino Cardillo, it continues the investigation of Primordial Images—see Jung, 1921: Psychological Types—presenting an ambience that reunites the sensorial plane of tactility with the intuitive which projects onto reality the psyche of the observer.
The space between the elements recalls the pattern of a mandala and the last works of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—the theme of the double and the one divided.
The two rooms devoted to hospitality form a raumplan six metres in height. Extending right round, a quadrangular fence sixteen metres wide unifies the duplex space framing the base of the Vault of the Golden Shadows.
The latter, covering the space within the fence, is excavated at the centre by a black apsidal shape. Beneath this centre, a false scale palazzo encloses the contents and functions of the two bars.
Constructed of two twin altars 7.22 metres long in black granite, both the bars—mixology on the upper floor and sushi on the lower—counterpoint the opposing sides of the palazzo towards the two rooms.
With its double grey façade the palazzo carries out the apotropaic function of giving faces to the space. An iconostasis made from two twin black monoliths with elongated copper arches masks the face of the palazzo towards the road.
Through the fissure created by the separation of the monoliths a view of figures is revealed. Arches, rhombuses, triangles and discs seem to evoke archaic rituals.
Here, ancient and modern syntaxes find conciliation. Thus, this outline of physical and psychic scapes represents the idea of the architecture as transfiguration of the human.