Architect: Danica Jurkovičová
Graphic Design: MILK
Text description provided by the architects. Fach is a restaurant, café, bar and juice shop housed in a series of spaces situated in Pálffy Palace in the centre of Bratislava. The palace is cantered around two inner courtyards and has been rebuilt several times. Fach is located on the ground floor along Ventúrska Street and Zelená Street around the palace courtyard which is covered by a glass roof. It is a very inconsistent and complex array of spaces marked by five centuries of various conversions. Todays’ palatial three-storey baroque form dates to 18th century when the building was converted by Count Pálffy. However, the ground floor shows signs of Gothic and Renaissance stone walls and vaults and it is clear the palace is a combination of several separate buildings. During the last reconstruction in 2012-2016 the palace was renovated as an administrative building, opening the originally closed frontage to create public use in form of shops and restaurants. The space has not been divided into independent business units.
Fach is presented as a continuous space with a series of thematic parts. Bread and Coffee café and a restaurant with wine cellar are connected through a shared kitchen, linking to the Bar and Juice shop. Each part is independent with different opening hours, but all four together create a whole under the common name Fach. The open kitchen, restaurant and wine bar are facing the covered courtyard, which has its unique character. The courtyard with trees and resin bound gravel floor serves as all year terrace for occasional events. The biggest challenge in developing the concept for Fach interior was to find an element which would be a common denominator of all spaces, while achieving different atmosphere in each of them. It was also difficult to handle a diverse and disparate array of spaces with very limited possibilities for layout changes. The ground floor of the building lacks any palace characteristics as it consists of original farm building and stalls, combined with preserved structures of Gothic and Renaissance buildings. We developed a uniform colour and material palette as the common denominator to define the new space. This meant that everything - floors, walls, vaults and ceiling became a seamless surface which needed to satisfy the required aesthetic and technical criteria. A finish was selected akin to the typical medieval scratched plaster, which was perhaps once here. This unified background is accentuated by solitary features in form of built-in elements and free standing furniture.
These are different in colour or material in each unit in order to give the individual parts different character. The Juice shop is complemented by bleached wood to accentuate colours of fruit and vegetables. The café Bread and Coffee is based on the natural colour of oak as a distinctive backdrop for Fach home bakery products. The bar and restaurant were first proposed in smoked dark oak veneer finish. With the gradual development of the concept this has been replaced by patinated steel. Atypical features of built-in furniture and tables were complemented by seating and lighting with emphasis on maintaining integrity of the material and colour concept. As the name Fach refers to craftsmanship, one of the brief requirements was to reflect the name in the expression of the interior.
As a functional metaphor to Fach with minimal decorative effect we have chosen an archetype shelf and perforated hardboard wall for storage of "vercajch" (tools). These are used mainly in the Juice Bar and Bread and Coffee, the restaurant and bar have shelves only. Fach is characteristic for its high quality standard in all aspects without any compromise. Therefore, in the creation of Fach attention to detail was reflected not only in the design of the interior but also in other solutions. A comprehensive graphic manual from the brand logo through to the information system and labelling of escape lighting was developed by the graphic studio Milk, Fach costumes were designed by Buffet and dinnerware for the restaurant was tailored to the requirements of the chef. Thanks to the unique consensus between the architects, the designers, the client and the owner of Fach it was possible to achieve a very clean and minimalist concept all the way to completion.