Architecture firm Büro KLK completed the design of the Krypt Bar, an underground social gathering spot in Austria. During the renovation on an ancient heritage building from the late 18th century on Vienna’s traditional Berggasse Street, a bricked-up staircase was found.

The staircase led to a 12 meters (39 feet) deep, second cellar with approximately 250 square meters (2,690 square feet). Located between Votivkirche and Sigmund Freud’s apartment, this cocktail and underground bar is an architectural gem. Historical investigations showed that it was a semi-legal establishment in the 1950s and ’60s during Vienna’s flourishing jazz scene.

Once inside, you begin your journey through a narrow entrance door that leads to a first-level basement, containing the cloak room and a mirrored vestibule. Take the staircase directly to the impressive 7 meter (23 feet) long main bar. Several alcoves, a hidden booth, the smallest art gallery in Vienna and secret hallways surround this centerpiece and give the impression of a surreal venue out of its time.

The whole static structure plus the ventilating pipes and further installations were clad in composition gold. The floor plate is covered with a layer of Italian black marble. The cladding of the bar counter was cut out of a massive block of Sahara marble applied in a mirrored pattern, and the counter plate was crafted out of a massive European walnut. Information by Studio Büro KLK; photography by David Schreyer.