American Bar (Kärntner Bar)
Kärntner Durchgang 10, 1010 Wien, Austria
Adolf Loos (1907-08)
This tiny bar (4.45 x 6.15m) has been an inspiration for architects and designers ever since it was built over 100 years ago. While Adolf Loos became known for writing ‘Ornament is Crime’, he was not unknowing of how to use materials to gain richness in his pared back designs. Take note inside of the three equal bays divided by green marble pilasters and beams overhead; the rectangular marble coffered ceiling; the rich mahogany timber panelling on the walls and bar; the green and white marble checkerboard floor; the thin backlit onyx panels over the front entrance (an idea copied many times over the years); and the multi-panelled stained glass signage for American Bar and Kärntner Bar on the exterior.
Loos was also a master of manipulating space, in this instance using repetition and mirrors above door height to multiply and ‘extend’ the tiny space within the bar.
Since 1995 the bar has been revived and cared for, becoming a worthwhile destination for visitors to Vienna.
Place: Loos American Bar
Architect: Adolf Loos
Photographer: Robin Roger Peller
Review: Vanity Fair (14 January 2013)
Map: American Bar Map
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