The former naval prison, named after its distinctive shape, was originally built by architect Alexander Shtaubert in 1830. The restoration and adaptation of the building for its new function took almost two years. Shtaubert himself dubbed the building the Convicts' Tower, although the Bottle House became its established name among locals as a result of its characteristic shape, reminiscent of the neck of a bottle. According to legend, it was from here that the Russian phrase “don’t get into the bottle” originated – no one wanted to end up in jail.
The team restored the brickwork of the interior and exterior facades, as well as in the ground floor space and in the two stairwells. The stairs were restored with their original cladding of Putilov limestone, flanked by cast-iron railings. The building has gained two elegant, Art Deco-style elevators, 228 wood-framed windows featuring old-fashioned bronze handles, and 163 doors restored from original blueprints. The renovation of the shared corridors used 2,480 square meters of floor tiles, 4,348 square meters of glossy wall tiles, and 1,139 lighting fixtures. The courtyard has been studded with 40 outdoor bullet lights, custom-designed in black metal, and now features a small stage for events. The design of the common areas and all elements of the interior decoration were developed by Ludi Architects and Luba Leontieva, in collaboration with the team for the project New Holland: Cultural Urbanization.
Each storey of the building has been granted its own purpose and function. The first floor is given over entirely to gastronomy, while on the second floor you can leaf through art albums and comics, get yourself a printed t-shirt, buy eco-friendly children’s toys or a Scandinavian chair. The third floor is the health, beauty and sport zone — here you can get your hair and nails done, attend ballet and yoga classes, or get pedalling on the exercise bikes.
Among the Bottle House residents are Diana Vishneva's Context ballet studio, a bookstore by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Israeli street-food cafe Bekitzer, Rock The Cycle cycling studio, P.Y.E optics, Japanese bistro Ronny and many others. Full list — on the Bottle House web site.