Off Club is a Pan-Asian restaurant and mixology cocktail bar. Under one raw gold ceiling, it reunites the cinema of Kubrick and De Palma, Grand Theft Auto, Miami Art Deco District, psychedelic soul music, the Escher’s perspectives, Byzantine iconostases, and Japanese folding screens.
Conceived, built and represented by Antonino Cardillo, it continues the investigation of Primordial Images (See Jung, 1921: Psychological Types), begun by the architect with House of Dust, 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 two rooms devoted to hospitality form a raumplan six metres in height.
Extending right round, a quadrangular fence 16 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.
Time: Feb 2017 - Jun 2018
Place: Off Club, Via di Casal Bertone, 64, Rome, Italy
Gross area: 450 m²
Opening date: 10 Dec 2018
Clients: Matteo Di Persio, Francesco Curcio
Architect and construction manager: Antonino Cardillo
Furniture designer: Antonino Cardillo
Photography: Antonino Cardillo
Text: Antonino Cardillo
English translator: Charles Searson
Logo design: Antonino Cardillo
Building contractor: Roberto Federici
Masons: Vincenzo Amato, Adrian Ciacan, Marius Ioan Frunzà, Emanuele Venturini
Logistics: Cristiano Massariello, Emanuele Zappone
Painter: Marton Mihaly Andras
Electrician: Gabriele Fabio
Plumber: Stefan Minciuna
Granites: Ghirardi Stone Contractor
Windows: Carboni Claudio
Parquet: Gabriel Grama
Air system: Lanzani Alessio
Paintings: Sikkens (thanks to Caruso Vito)
Door handles: Handles (Roma), Valvo (Palermo)
Mirrors: Nazzareno Garofani
Luminator seeker: Picconi Giuseppe
Balcony lighting: Armand Darot
Stair lighting: 1970s Murano glass lamp from Palermo
Sofas: Piero Lissoni, Living (thanks to Dejana Mario)
Chairs: Busnelli (thanks to Anzellotti Luca)
Curtains: Pasquale Lo Guercio
Thanks to Remo Curcio, Klaus Mondrian, Alexandra Savtchenko Belskaia
Abitare la Terra, no.49, Rome, Jun 2019.
Guest lecture as part of the talk series Inside/Out, London, Royal College of Art, 22 Jan 2019.
PAOLO ANTONACCI (ed.)
Divisare Journal, no.221, [newsletter], Rome, 19 Oct 2018.
sightunseen.com, New York, 22 Sep 2018.