If Dogs Run Free
Completion May 2012
If dogs run free is a bar on the Gumpendorfer Straße in Vienna's 6th district co-owned by an actress, a restaurateur, a graphic designer, and two architects. The bar was conceived as a neighborhood watering hole; a place where students, neighbors, and the after-work crowd get together to enjoy a good drink. The name, like the space itself, is meant to invite fantasy. The generously proportioned 80m2 space is modeled after a black box theater with the main focus on the ceiling plane rather than on an actual stage. In addition to its function as a bar, the owners wanted to provide a space where people have access to new ideas in art and design outside the traditional context of a gallery or the academy. The ceiling plane is reserved for artists and designers to create site specific installations intended as annual fixtures revolving around the theme Mensch und Natur. The first installation was designed and built by the owners. It describes an inverted mountain landscape through the manipulation of a single geometric tile. The patchwork of tiles shift in tone creating two interwoven color gradients. The landscape is multiplied by mirrors attached to the wall behind the bar counter. Below the ceiling, dark, unadorned surfaces are used to emphasize the presence of the ceiling installation. The walls are spackled with a blend of plaster and black house paint. The floor is poured asphalt. All furnishings are a mixture of steel, black MDF boards, and dark, stained oak. The lighting is a flexible system of stage spots and construction strobes.
Location: Vienna, Austria
Principal use: Bar
Total floor area: 100 m2
Design team: Chieh-shu Tzou, Gregorio S. Lubroth
Photos by Stefan Zenzmaier & Jochen Fill