Graham Baba designs moody Deep Dive bar at Amazon's Seattle HQ
Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

Graham Baba designs moody Deep Dive speakeasy at Amazon's Seattle headquarters

US studio Graham Baba Architects took cues from speakeasies and adventure novels to create a dimly lit bar in Seattle filled with oddities and nature-inspired decor, such as dried plants and taxidermy.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

Deep Dive bar is located at Amazon Spheres, a trio of greenery-filled, glass domes at the retail company's downtown Seattle campus.

The bar occupies a small space at the base of the NBBJ-designed orbs, which made the shortlist for a 2018 Dezeen Award.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

Local studio Graham Baba Architects designed the bar to evoke the sensation of being on a journey. The front door is discretely tucked between two of the spheres.

Upon entering, visitors travel down a gently sloping ramp and step into an environment that eschews minimalism in favour of "a rich array of materials and objects", the team said in a project description.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

"Loosely inspired by a 1920s speakeasy, Deep Dive takes its aesthetic inspiration from the worlds of Charles Darwin and Jules Verne, capturing the human spirit of curiosity and imagination," the team said, referring to the British naturalist and the French novelist.

The 1,677-square-foot (156-square-metre) speakeasy is divided into a main room and a more intimate space called the library. Interior design was overseen by Seattle-based Charlie Hellstern.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

Dimply lit, the main area features dark walls, wooden flooring and a stone-topped bar. Overhead, a ceiling installation made of steel ribbons adds visual interest while also concealing mechanical equipment.

Various types of seating – including a tufted banquette – are upholstered with dark blue velvet. The bar is lined with glass cloches filled with dried plants and small taxidermy.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

A glass-and-steel wall separates the main area from the library. Lush fabrics, dark-stained wood and antique furnishings were incorporated into the cosy nook.

The team also added shelves for the display of unusual artifacts – making the area feel like "a veritable cabinet of curiosities".

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

Deep Dive is the latest venture by Renee Erickson, a renowned local chef and restaurateur. In addition to an extensive cocktail list, the bar offers snacks such as cured salmon and caviar toast. Offerings are presented in a leather-bound menu.

Deep Dive bar in Seattle by Graham Baba Architects

This is Graham Baba's second project at Amazon Spheres. The firm also designed Understory, a visitor centre and exhibition space.

Other projects within the glass-orb development include Willmott's Ghost, a bright and airy restaurant designed by Heliotrope Architects and Price Erickson.

Photography is by Haris Kenjar.


Project credits:

Interior architect: Graham Baba Architects
Design team: Jim Graham, Ellen Cecil, Susan Tillack, Connor Davidge, Francesco Borghesi, Carlos Lopes
Client: Amazon
Tenant: Sea Creatures
Architectural support: Okano Picard Studio
Interior design: Charlie Hellstern Interior Design
Collections curation: Curtis Steiner
Structural, mechanical, electrical, acoustical, AV: Arup
Lighting: Niteo
Accessibility: Karen Braitmayer
Bar equipment: CMA Restaurant Supply
Pre-fabrication for steel ribbon ceiling: Spearhead
Contractor: Sellen
Electrical: Veca
M/E/P: Auburn
Casework fabrication: Custom Interiors
Metalwork: Architectural Elements
Bar lighting: Resolute
Stone bar top: Verde Victoria Granite
Plaster: Milestone
Wood flooring: Summitt Forest Products
Tile: Bison Brick
Bar stools and chairs: Ottiu