Cat and Mouse by studio 8 ½ is a project for brand new beer bar and at the same time concept store in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The district of the city where the bar is situated is called ‘Kapana’, which in Bulgarian means ‘The Trap’. Starting with the name ‘Cat and Mouse’, studio 8 ½ decided to also use small and bigger ‘traps’ to design their own lighting and furniture. The entire space was only 20.00 m2 and so they tried to come up with an innovative design and make the space look bigger. The height of the space gave them the chance to use it all the way to the second level without creating any physical or visual barriers. The materials consist of different types of wood and plywood, black non-painted metal, copper, textile cables and gray textiles, using of natural old bricks and black-painted walls and ceiling. studio 8 ½ also designed and built the furniture – the bar, sofas and the lighting: floor and ceiling lamps, as well as the concept and design for the bar’s graphic and visual identity.
Six months after opening the first part of the bar the owners got the opportunity to rent the neighboring space and to connect it with the existing one. A ‘door’ has been added between the two rooms and studio 8 ½ were searching to create a natural contrast between the two parts with respect to the old typical architectural vision. At the same time their main objective was to preserve the space’s identity and making it one united complex space with the old intervention. The old flooring is almost completely kept after refurbishing and changing part of it with gray- colored tiles. The new lighting hangs around the one found on the construction site old steel nets, which are typically used as a supporting unit for concrete works. The tables are made of steel profiles with marble tops. Half of the chairs are taken from old schools and they are completely covered by the original student scribbles, names of bands and local football teams, which only underlines the searched contrast between new and old.
Info © studio 8 ½
Photography © Dinko Mitev