This month, we explore Seattle’s newly iconic Deep Dive Bar tucked under Amazon’s downtown botanical Spheres. If Charles Darwin and Jules Verne crafted at a speakeasy in the 1920’s, this is that veritable masterpiece. Created meticulously by one of my favorite installation artists, Curtis Steiner, the luxurious interiors feature Steiner’s carefully curated pieces from local artists and antiquarians.
Our deep dive (see what we did there) into this treasured night spot investigates the diminutive artistic elements that make it something special, and fantastically so. From the straightforward color palette to the back room library’s epic bow to the concept of Wunderkammer – a cabinet of curiosities, Deep Dive demonstrates the depth that saturates through such masterfully intentional details.
Before we enter the bar, let’s take a look at the exterior setup. Located beneath Amazon’s Spheres in Seattle, the facade of the Deep Dive Bar is immediately complex and arresting. The unique structural creativity generates an exciting harmony and substantial sense of place. The fashions shown here perfectly demonstrate the concept of a unified structural vision embodying style and presence. As fashion emanates personality, the wild exterior presence of The Spheres and Deep Dive Bar command attention and response to its riveting, singular form.
As we enter The Spheres, we are greeted by an undeniable contrast and tenuous balance on all sides. Similar to these fashion pieces, the duality of color, shape, and material creates a strangely soothing clash that proclaims extraordinary. The frozen rigidity of the steel and glass becomes even more striking against the warmth of natural wood paneling, while the curved hallway contrasts the harsh polygonal shapes. These lines, shapes, and colors further emphasize the juxtaposition between outside and inside, as we view the bounties of nature contained in a human fashioned structure. The aesthetic stand-offs must be exact and incredibly precise in order to find a harmonious truce in tension.
Paragon of Paradox
We slip into the bar, immediately enveloped by the dark wood and warm lighting. Dim, snug, secretive. The interior of the bar appears both expansive and intimate. With carefully curated details, the bar accomplishes the impossible—simultaneously feeling public and private. Even surrounded by people, patrons sense a profound confidentiality in Steiner’s eclectic mix of antique objects and artifacts blended with dried plants and live botany. A throne-like tufted couch greets newcomers, illustrating the high-end persona while acknowledging the soft comfort found in the space. The winding architectural design keeps everything separate and secluded. Synchronously, these curved sections make every step an unexpected visual discovery.
The selective color palette of the bar’s interior sets the mood and presents a relaxed appearance. Understated and nearly monochromatic, these color selections heighten the atmosphere of cool luxury. All colors—which are few—are so dark they almost blend together, creating a uniform look that soothes your senses while titillating your attention. Deep blue covers the seating in velvety tufted swaths to add a richness in both hue and wealth. The verdant tiles and stone that cover the bathrooms echo the vivid intensity of the sienna stained woods found throughout the remainder of the bar.
Covered with Contrast
To offset the vintage speakeasy aesthetic, the ceiling of the Deep Dive Bar provides a noticeably modern touch. These curved metal ribs are made of copper patinaed steel, a sleek contrast to the wooden flooring and stone bar. Like the internal keys of a piano, the roundness of the crinkled ceiling prevents spatial energy from settling stagnant. Subtle and rolling movement offers calming vibrations, rather than frenzied or harsh energy.
Seattle Design: Raising the Bar
At the heart of the Deep Dive Bar is… the bar. The stone-topped bar embodies the general vibe of the entire space. It is class and comfort, relaxation without slouch. But how does one strike such a balance? Like the fashions featured, proper shapes and elegant pieces are created with soft materials that bring cozy comfort. The collection of dome-shaped glass cloches ornamenting the bar are filled with taxidermied animals and antiques, eschewing minimalism in a way that allows customers to let down their guard with intriguing wonderment while elevating their style and demeanor. Accompanied by the scent of vermouth and lounge luxury, the bar provides a genteel social oasis. It is about the depth, offering a space for illumination and rumination.