The 9 Bars That Every Architect Needs to Visit

When you think of your favorite spot to grab a beer, what architectural features come to mind? Is it the swanky furniture, themed artwork, or the heavily designed cocktail menu? Today, the aesthetics of bars are now as much a draw as the drinks themselves. From movie set inspired spaces to rooftops that offer spectacular city views, we’ve compiled a list of nine bars and beer gardens that every architect needs to cross off their list.

The American Bar / Adolf Loos / Vienna, Austria

The American Bar was designed by Adolf Loos in 1908, after he spent three years living in the United States. The bar was commissioned to introduce the American style of cocktails to Vienna, a traditionally cafe style society. In typical Loosian fashion, the interior is decorated with marble, brass, and leather, and the walls are clad in mirrors, making the space appear larger than it really is.

Hofbrauhaus / Munich, Germany

© Jorge Royan /

As one of Munich’s largest tourist attractions, the Hofbrauhaus is among Bavaria’s best known beer halls, and was founded in 1589 by Wilhelm V. After World War II, legions of American soldiers stationed in Bavaria brought home beer mugs with the famous “HB” logo, and people began flocking to Germany to experience the culture. Today, the three-storey space is the place to visit for German food, dinner shows, and, of course, pints of beer.

Atrium Champagne Bar / Foster + Partners / London, England

© Francisco Guerrero

Housed within the ME Hotel in London, the Atrium Champagne Bar is a nine-storey pyramid, clad in white marble with a highly reflective black granite floor. The space features a triangular-shaped skylight, which allows light to flow into the bar, emphasizing the height of the space. Instead of traditional artwork, projections of jellyfish that slowly float across the walls towards the ceiling. Foster also designed all of the furniture for the bar, including a 30 meter long curved couch.

Yakitori Barby / Kengo Kuma / Kichijoji, Japan

© Erieta Attali

Kuma’s 325 square-foot Yakitori Barby project uses almost exclusively recycled materials (including ethernet cables) to give the restaurant a distinctively textured appearance. Other melted acrylic products are used to furnish the bar, leaving the space to blend in with the stools and tables. The exterior of the bar retains its black-market stall feel, which was popular during the post-war period.

Bar Luce / Wes Anderson / Milan, Italy

Located in the Fondazione Prada, Bar Luce looks like it was plucked right off of a Wes Anderson film set. Which, in a sense, it was. The interior features colored formica tables, whimsical wallpaper, speckled floors, and even a Steve Zissou inspired pinball machine. Visitors have said that the space “gives a Grand Budapest Hotel feel,” and is “extremely Instagrammable."

Karlovy Lázně / Prague, Czech Republic

Karlovy Lázně, which translates to “Charles Spa”, is a five story nightclub in Prague on the bank of the Vltava River. The building itself was a bathhouse dating from the 14th century, and even retains some of its original features such as mosaic wall tiles and Roman pools, which are now used as dance floors. Each level of the club features a different style of music. Karlovy Lázně is one of the most popular clubs in Prague, and claims to be the largest nightclub complex in Central Europe.

The Magazine / Zaha Hadid / London, England

© Luke Hayes

The Magazine is part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery Extension in London. The space features an undulating fabric roof which meets the ground at three points. Tables in the restaurant portion are organized around sculptural columns, and the surrounding gardens can be seen through the full height glass windows.

The OZONE Bar / Hong Kong

By Patty Mooney from San Diego, USA [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The OZONE bar sits on the 118th floor atop the Ritz-Carlton at the ICC tower in Hong Kong. The OZONE, which claims to be the highest bar in the world, offers an expansive interior and terrace space where visitors can take in spectacular views onto the city. The interior features a marble bar and geometric patterns on the floor that extend up to the ceiling. The ICC tower itself holds a world record for the largest light and sound show on a single building.

Hirschgarten / Munich, Germany

Founded in 1791, the Hirschgarten is known as the largest beer garden in the world, and seats more than 8,000 guests. Visitors sit outdoors and can enjoy the playgrounds, animal sanctuary, food stalls, water features, a skatepark, and other public spaces.

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Cite: Kaley Overstreet. "The 9 Bars That Every Architect Needs to Visit" 03 Aug 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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