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LAX Bar, Vienna, Austria by Christoph Meier, Ute Müller, Robert Schwarz and Lukas Stopczynski

What do you get if you cross Adolf Loos’s American Bar with the designs of Superstudio?

This case study is part of Typology: Nightclub, featured in AR April 2020 on Darkness. Click here to read the full article

The question has probably never crossed your mind, but the results are surprisingly successful. In 2015, a group of German and Austrian artists met at a residency in LA and decided to build a bar modelled on Loos’s original in their studio. A second iteration followed in an art gallery basement in Brussels in 2017, and last autumn Christoph Meier, Ute Müller, Robert Schwarz and Lukas Stopczynski constructed a third version temporarily occupying a disused record shop in Vienna. By retaining the cosy dimensions of Loos’s bar on Kärntnerstrasse but replacing the luxurious and muted materials with white tiles, all traces of Gemütlichkeit are evacuated, as if to banish some of the more dubious elements associated with Loos and his milieu (the portrait of Peter Altenberg, who, like Loos, was a paedophile, is absent). Rather than being able to secrete oneself in a corner here one is exposed on the grid of modernity, which is transformed into an endless terrain by the well-placed mirrors. This makes the tricks Loos played with space more forceful and, perhaps, a bit less subtle – but certainly easier to clean.

LAX-bar-christoph-meier-ute-müller-robert-schwarz-lukas-stopczynski-drawings

LAX-bar-christoph-meier-ute-müller-robert-schwarz-lukas-stopczynski-drawings

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This case study is part of Typology: Nightclub, featured in AR April 2020 on Darkness. Click here to read the full article