American Bar


American Bar: the bar area

Interior of the American Bar, Vienna
© ORCH Chemollo/RIBA Library Photographs Collection 


With a façade measuring 4.45 metres across and a single room going back 6.15 metres the bar is small, but it has an impression of spaciousness through Loos's selection of materials.

Light, generated from the backlit tables and wall lamps, is reflected by the mirrored glass and marble floor, which contrasts with the dark mahogany on the lower parts of the perimeter walls. Above the wooden panelling sits the mirrored glass – primarily reflecting the coffered ceiling - it never extends downwards to reach eye level and gives the illusion of space beyond.

Inside the bar, the daylight is filtered through the squares of translucent yellow and orange onyx. A portrait by Gustav Jagerspacher of Loos's friend, writer Peter Altenberg, hangs on the back wall.


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