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Deep Dive by Graham Baba Architects

Deep Dive, a luxurious new bar in Seattle—loosely inspired by the worlds of Charles Darwin and Jules Verne as well as a dash of 1920s speakeasy—seeks to capture the human spirit of curiosity and imagination. Accessed via a nondescript entryway tucked discretely between the two Amazon Spheres, the bar unfolds as a journey.

Photos by Haris Kenjar

Deep Dive is created out of one of three residual spaces located between and below the spheres (Graham Baba also designed Understory, the multipurpose exhibit venue that occupies one of the other two spaces). “When you descend, you enter into this dark relic that's tinged with a sense of Victorian magic and mysticism,” notes lead architect Jim Graham of Graham Baba Architects. The design embraces its inherent spatial limitations: small scale, varying ceiling heights, and complicated shape. “It’s a small place with complex geometry. It was like fitting out a boat,” Graham adds. Inside, a gently sloping ramp brings guests into a sophisticated environment eschewing minimalism, favoring a rich array of materials and objects. The floor plan mirrors the complex space with a curved, tufted velvet banquette, and gently curved bar. The intimate 1,677-square-foot space is wrapped in wood, punctuated by shelves, niches, and cloches, supporting an array of natural objects and assorted artifacts, transforming the space into a veritable cabinet of curiosities. The setting unfolds as a series of vignettes; entry, bar seating area, and library.

Overhead, the ceiling is composed of a custom-designed array of suspended steel “ribbons,” which add drama to the space, while simultaneously concealing the existing mechanical equipment which dips into the space. Velvet covered occasional seating, small cocktail tables, and antique furnishings round out the space. The library, separated from the primary bar by a steel-framed and glass paneled wall, and furnished with an eclectic mix of antiques, provides a private space for small gatherings. Carpets, drapes, luxurious fabrics, and dark woods (stained ash, oak, and walnut), custom metalwork handrails, and decorative panels round out the space.

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