For Dedalus Wine Bar portfolio pictures, click here.
Dedalus started out as a small back-room wine shop and has since built up an impressive collection of indie wines from all over the world. They quickly outgrew their original shop in Burlington, Vermont, and were looking for opportunities to expand their offerings. They found their new home on Pine St. in an 1800s factory building that was almost six times the size of their old store. The focus was to help Dedalus to maintain their brand authenticity and their ability to connect with customers. Our design not only preserved their identity, but also preserved the character of the original building. We started by highlighting the history of the space by preserving the natural beauty of the original elements. We then carefully introduced modern and luxurious pieces to elevate the factory feel. The elegant pairing of old and new, classic and modern, reflects the elements of a fine wine tasting.
In order to preserve the building’s original metal factory doors and keep them functional for the new use of the space, we weatherproofed and sealed any openings to the exterior. Continuing to pay homage to the building’s original purpose, we fabricated faux factory windows to divide the wine bar from the retail shop and entry corridor, where you can still see through to the beautiful exposed brick wall opposite the windows. We cut and set Carrara marble tiles in an irregular pattern on the wall below the windows, and up the wall behind the bar. This beautiful juxtaposition was inspired by the steel factory windows set into the historic Marbleworks buildings in Middlebury Vermont, balancing history with a sense of modernity. We also poured a custom, white concrete bar top that matches the light, neutral tones of the marble. We then adorned the front bar with bright, geometric, Moroccan tiles that complement the grays of the marble and concrete, but also introduce some color and pattern.
As opposed to the retail Wine Shop where we wanted to segment off different sections, we wanted to keep the wine bar open. While the beams were an asset in the shop, they were more of a challenge in the restaurant, but we used them to define the seating sections and arrangement. The unevenness of the floor also needed to be taken into consideration, so we built most of the furniture ourselves to accommodate for this. We determined the seating arrangements in advance, and then built individual pieces to be level in the particular spot where they would be set. For example, the steel legs of the live edge slab dining table are designed so that the table top is exactly level with the floor upon which it sits now. We took a different approach with the high top tables, choosing to cantilever them off the wall below the factory windows. The bistro tables and prep surfaces were built using end-grain Baltic Birch plywood to create a unique striped pattern, and custom steel and brass accents help blend the new furniture with older elements of the space. To balance all the new furniture, we incorporated a large, 100 year old antique workbench to be used as a decanting station and focal point for the room.
For this project, we were inspired not only by the building’s history, but also by other examples of Vermont’s historic building traditions. We then carefully balanced the heavy rustic elements with lighter custom features for an elegant mix of tradition and modernity that embodies the Dedalus brand, and creates a unique and holistic experience for their customers.