Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

Reflective surfaces and light bulbs illuminate Mishka Bosco bar in Moscow

More than 2,000 dimmable light bulbs and a selfie-friendly fabric fill the grand interior of this cocktail bar on Moscow's Red Square in Russia.

Located in the city's famous 19th-century GUM shopping centre, the Mishka Bosco bar was recently overhauled by Sundukovy Sisters, a local studio run by twin sisters Irina and Olga Sundukovy, who were on the judging panel for this year's Dezeen Awards.

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

The duo wanted to create a contemporary space that celebrated the interior's original plasterwork walls and ceilings.

"The key was to not overfill the walls with legacy, but rather purify the space," said the duo. "We decided to stick with beloved minimalism, accentuating it with expressive details, which link back to the unique historic heritage of the venue."

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

The bar consists of a series of lofty spaces connected by large decorative plasterwork archways.

The design team opted to leave the plasterwork raw and unfinished to contrast with other materials used in the space, such as the marble tabletops, decorative wooden veneers and polished stainless-steel.

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

At the entrance, a reflective block of stepped seating made from mirrored stainless-steel sits at the centre of the space.

Arranged in a ziggurat-style, meaning that the levels narrow towards the top of the structure, the form of the seating block is inspired by the mausoleum on the Red Square. It functions as seating during the day and a podium for dancing at night.

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

The space is theatrically lit by spot lights arranged across lighting rigs, as well as rows of dimmable light bulbs which run along the interior's grand archways and columns.

"The central interlink between external and internal space are 2,050 dimmable light bulbs, which replay the facade illumination of GUM," explained the studio.

"Revealed magnificently through outer windows, they draw in guests with their comfort in the evening."

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

An iridescent reflective fabric that lines the underneath of the bar and hangs in alcoves was added with social media in mind. When illuminated by a camera flash it gives off an unexpected flare.

"Once the effect is discovered and revealed on camera, selfies continue endlessly, ensuring interest from friends on social media," said the studio.

Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar

In contrast to the minimalist furniture and reflective elements, the studio specified large antique tables and chandeliers in a nod to the building's history.

In West Hollywood, American design firm Home Studios used ribbed surfaces, soft colours and teardrop-shaped details to create a bar interior that looks part postmodern cafe and part Viennese speakeasy.

Photography is by Milhail Loskutov.

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Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar
Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar
Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar
Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar
Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar
Sundukovy Sisters use reflective surfaces to illuminate Moscow bar