ReVision Lounge: A Quirky Cocktail Bar and Gallery Designed Entirely With Recycled Materials

by , 04/12/11

Barounis, who owns several other New York City bars, concocted the idea for ReVision Lounge back in the early ‘90s, “when green was just a color,” he says. Back then, his impetus for recycled design was the idea that you could take something that’s garbage and turn it into something unique and functional. Over the years, as green morphed from a color to a concept, his idea naturally adjusted to the bigger picture.

Now, the gallery lounge is a prime example of everything that many people (like us here at Inhabitat) have touted for years: gorgeous, functional designs of every type can be born out of recycled and reclaimed materials. There’s no need to chop down a tree to build a chair. Instead, used materials like broken or faulty skis can make a comfortable and colorful substitute, like those in ReVision Lounge. Made entirely with recycled skis from a Vermont resort, the chairs are durable and slightly flexible. The high back makes for the most comfortable bar stool you’ll ever sit in.

The bar itself is nothing short of a recycled masterpiece. The base, designed by Lee Beckman, owner of Recycled Bottleworks, looks like stained glass. The bottoms of glass bottles are specially grouted together and then backlit to create a colorful glow. The bar top looks like granite at first glance, but closer inspection reveals that its actually shredded paper – shredded money, to be exact. Don’t worry, it’s legal. Designer Stan Shetka works with the Federal Reserve of Minnesota to receive all the bills that are taken out of circulation. After the bills are shredded, Shetka molds them into counter tops and seals it with a special resin.

Around the bar, cocktail tables and stools are made from wine barrels, and the blue and green paisley upholstery on the walls is made from plastic bottles. The lights hanging above the bar are the colored discs from traffic lights repurposed into lamps, and the sconces near the cocktail tables are handblown recycled glass. Barounis used the bar top from a previous bar, Music Box, as wall art near a corner sitting area. For the liquor shelving behind the bar, Barounis picked up tables along Avenue B that people had put out for the garbage. He sawed them in half and secured them to the wall.