B² Architecture: The architectural mission of the Bernard Visitor Center is to enrich the experience of visiting the brewery and to provide a cosy environment for relaxation, a place to sit with friends. The Visitor Centre with its exhibition, shop and beerhouse welcomes local gourmets from Humpolec and neighbouring towns, as well as visitors and excursions from further afield in the country and the world.
The interior is inspired by the industrial character of the brewery, with its typical mullion windows and shopfronts. The atmosphere of the place is built on black cement screed on the walls and wooden furniture, with copper features on the bar, lighting and structural elements that stand out in harmonious contrast. The highlights of the interior are walls made of beer bottles set in metal frames. This design element also serves as a partition between different spaces. The light passing through the bottle glass creates a magical shadow play and colours the interior with a honey shade of beer.
A wall made of beer bottles with the brewery's logo is also the key motif at the entrance of the newly built reception extension.
From the reception we go through a connecting corridor to the historic brewery building. Here, visitors can learn about the history of Bernard beer and the unique brewing processes through an interactive exhibition. The brick vaults and walls of this space have been preserved in their raw form, and the exhibition recalls the original appearance of coolships. There is also a small cinema room and design toilets upstairs.
The brewer‘s hall on the next floor is designed to be as multifunctional as possible. The space can be divided into two or three parts using mobile wooden partitions. The hall is dominated by a square bar, which is defined by columns and framed again by a transparent decoration made of beer bottles. Through the bar one can peer into a refrigerated warehouse with copper tanks filled with Bernard beer. A warm beige screed is applied to the walls. The shape of the ceiling refers to the history of the building – the wooden arches copy the vaults from the second floor, thus continuing the character of the old coolships.
The beerhouse space, occupying the entire fourth floor, is dominated by a bar with suspended copper beer tanks. A slanted wooden floor brings dynamic feeling into the space. The bar is set into a built-in mezzanine, into which the sanitary facilities are also inserted. The atmosphere of the beerhouse is calmer than in the previous areas, supported with the choice of materials. Black cement screed and dark curtains are used on the walls. In this case, the decorations made of Bernard beer bottles act as partitions. The roof illumination is primarily provided by a system of dimmable led spotlights. They are complemented by the distinctive yet simple Bomma's Tim design lights with copper details. Copper strips are placed locally on the walls, onto which wall lights are directed, creating indirect warm, honey-coloured reflections. The refurbished furniture is part of an overall concept of "Old meets New", where new meets history.
The beerhouse is connected to a newly built terrace, which opens up to the panorama of Humpolec. The architect of the complex is Petr Bernard in collaboration with Studio A. Barbara Bencová is the main architect of the interiors with partial interventions to the exterior, who also coordinated the construction of the Bernard Visitor Center with Jakub Klíma from Hezkey. The cooperation between B² Architecture and Bernard Family Brewery was possible thanks to Hezkey.
B² Architecture is an Architecture and Design studio focused on innovative design with a strong awareness of the subtle coexistence between shapes and materials. B² Architecture was founded by Barbara Bencova in 2012 after her previous working experience in Prague (Atelier 8000), in London (BFLS), and in Paris (Renzo Piano Building Workshop - RPBW ).
She started collaborating with Zuzana Bartasova in 2021 due to their shared visual taste and passion for running.
Be Square Architecture is currently working on numerous residential and commercial projects in the Czech Republic and abroad.
The studio won the Architizer A+Award in Architecture and Branding category for DDB Prague office interior.
2013 - 2nd place in the EBA51 international student housing competition as part of the Petr Hájek Architekti team
2013 – Winner of the International Architectural competition for the design of a Montessori kindergarten in Milan.
2019 - Office of the Year - 21st Century Offices – Winner - DDB Prague Office project
2020 - Finalist of Dezeen Awards - Small Workspace Category - DDB Prague Office project
2020 - Finalist of the Grand Prix of Czech Architects Architects - DDB Prague Office project
2021 - Winner of BigSee Interior Design Award 2021 - DDB Prague Office project
2021 - Winner of Architizer A+Awards - Architecture+Branding category - DDB Prague Office project
2022 – Finalist of the Grand Prix of Czech Architects – Kabelovna Studios project
Bio – Barbara Bencová
Barbara Bencová is a young and up-and-coming architect with an extraordinary eye for detail and composition. Her awareness of the coexistence of shapes and materials in space is unparallel yielding her great results in executing her visions. Born in Slovakia (Bratislava) but living, studying, and working in Paris (RPBW - Atelier Renzo Piano), Venice (IUAV, Faculty of Design and Arts), and finally Prague (CTU, Faculty of Architecture; Atelier 8000, and BFLS) most of her life, gives her a broad and unique outlook on modern architecture.
In 2021, Architizer listed her as one of the top 10 women at the forefront of architecture leading an architecture studio.