01. Oct 2014

An elegant and unconventional bar

Architect: José Carlos Cruz
Photos: Fernando Guerra

What do Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and his light art installations, Andy Warhol’s “Factory” and British artist Anish Kapoor have in common? They all served as inspiration for the Instalação Bar in Porto, designed by José Carlos Cruz. A floating, reflecting tunnel installation and an elegant and yet industrial ambience together lend this unusual night club its unique quality.

The long and relatively narrow main space is supported by two structural arches. This gave the architect the idea to design the space as a tunnel. A series of curved aluminium tubes mounted on the ceiling form the structure. The “wires” are illuminated in a variety of colours by LED projectors. The space is surrounded by concrete walls whose stereotomy is punctuated by brass surfaces that contrast with the industrial environment. LED strip lights are embedded in the bar counter and in the joints between the geometrically cut – primarily trapezoidal – metal room dividers. These lines of light emit a golden glow. Both the diffuse golden light on the walls and the bar as well as the light from the LED projectors is reflected in the aluminium wire arches. The main space radiates a sophisticated and somewhat unconventional atmosphere.

The VIP room was inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Factory”. The ambience is clearly of an industrial nature, but the finish on the ceiling is surprisingly aesthetic in contrast. Soft light pours through the opening in the ceiling (inspired by Anish Kapoor). The bar and the two pictures integrated into the wall are illuminated by invisibly mounted LED strips.

Cool concrete coupled with metallic elements alone would leave the club looking minimalist and plain. It is the light that generates the overall mood.


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