landscapes of morocco inspired the interior space


atelier prototipi were inspired by the extra-terrestrial looking landscapes of morocco for vodniy tea bar that they designed in moscow, russia. burnt rock surfaces, foamy waves reaching the coastlines, and architectural constructions united into one inseparable landscape, stirred the curiosity of the designers. the main focus of the bar had to be on cooking. the brief was to create an approach that could turn the process of creating and consuming herbal drinks into a moment of enjoyment and exploration of taste, undisturbed by the presence of guests. 


based on the designers’ previous travel experience to morocco, they developed the concept of an eclectic space that combines the atmosphere of an oriental labyrinth city and the poetry of architectural forms. inspired by the architecture of the sculptor javier corbero’s house, they chose arches and circles as the key elements in the construction of the interior.

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the area lighting was created in collaboration with wishnya craft workshop.

images by alexandra kononchenko


non-typical tea bar that is also an art gallery


the main concept by atelier prototipi was to create a non-standard bar that could function as an art gallery. it would provide the opportunity for contemporary artists yet unknown to the general public to arrange short-term exhibitions of their works. the project includes an area of 150 square meters and is located on the ground floor of one of the modern high-rise buildings in the group of the ‘vodniy’ residential quarter sharing the name with the project. the interior, viewed from the main streets, is formed by an internal labyrinth echoing the arrangement of the old oriental city center, the medina, which is the initial point from which numerous cities sprawled. 


the round openings, high arched portals, and elements are inspired by the outlines of the legendary tower house belonging to the catalan artist javier corbero. from certain viewing positions architectural compositions create the effect of perspective depth, attracting the eye of the observer to the very core of the ‘old city’. as the day ends, the space is enlivened by a warm glow that glides along the walls and fades away in the deep shadows cast by the arches. the architectural oasis merges with the street, turning into a network of passages that hide mysterious silhouettes and images.

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the roughness of plaster plays an important role in showing the hand-made character of the walls


earth- toned materials


the impeccable terracotta tone of the plaster is suggestive of the coastal wild beaches near mirleft, with their cliffs ranging from martian red to wet sand color. the walls, the ceiling, the utilities, and furniture are united in one shade that reveals the interior as one single natural landscape. the color of red clay is combined with clinker façades, enhancing the flow of space from interior to exterior.


due to a light color that reflects the beauty of earthy tones, rojo alicante stone decorations nobly complement the interior. the lady onyx marble that adorns the peninsular bar looks as refreshing as the spray of ocean waves crashing on the shore. the role of materials such as brass and glass emphasizes the man-made, fundamental character of the object. the created kaleidoscopic zones are designed to make the process of watching the gallery’s exposition feel like an act of worship.

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throughout the day, there is a continuous play of sunlight, creating magical reflections and shadows

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the roughness of plaster plays an important role in showing the hand-made character of the walls

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the floor is finished with authentic concrete textures and black terrazzo ending the gallery corridors in semi-circular fragments

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the roughness of plaster plays an important role in showing the hand-made character of the walls

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moving to the right one can see a circular gallery with two open rooms, where guests can have a touch of privacy

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inside the corridor, visitors find themselves in front of a large round mirror and a stepped pedestal decorated with burning candles

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the walls of the space are adorned with circular conceptual paintings by the belarusian artist vadik fin



project info:


name: vodniy tea bar
designers: atelier prototipi

architects: alex klimov, eugene cherkas

location: 7 golovinskoe highway, moscow, russia
area: 165 sqm (1776.05 sqft)
photography: alexandra kononchenko
artist: vadik fin



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: yasmina karam | designboom