Spine Beirut, the latest hospitality project by interior designer Gregory Gatserelia, is the first rooftop bar design concept focused on the sky. The night venue was conceived on the idea of avoiding the trappings of rooftop design, usually focused on walls or floor, and opting instead for an upward aesthetic lighting structure. “I wanted to animate the sky and the structure melt with the landscape,” says Gatserelia when asked about inspiration.
The colorful lit boxes that dash like a Tetris game are the key feature of this project; giving it rhythm, and creating different moods to elevate the crowds and ambiance. After experiencing the marvelous twilight hues of Beirut at sundown, the lights take over stimulating the visual sense to its max. A lighting installation was programmed to allow for a monocratic, simple, and elegant hue for the start of the evening; to the most explosive “dynamic mode” with hundreds of color variations when the night and the crowds are roaring.
To continue the visual play it was crucial to have the feeling of being suspended in the sky. Glass was chosen as the material that covers the perimeter for safety; while it disappears at night it creates a reflection and the partially black landscape gives the crowd the impression of floating in space. “Physically they stop looking outward – they are so attracted by the light – that they look into each other or the light. The energy is meant to stay in the place and in the moment,” explains Gatserelia.
The challenge was to be quite minimalistic while creating spectacular visual landmark within the cityscape. This was achieved with two simple elements: a structure and light installation. Inside the rooftop the elegant dining area encloses the cocktail bar located right in the middle, as a center piece to the “unparalleled” rooftop lounge; all this in order to highlight the floating design. Most interestingly is that the complete concept was realized with what one could consider simple materials: concrete in its natural state, steel, and polycarbonate panels.