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Bar, Vienna

If Dogs Run Free, Vienna (Photo: Stefan Zenzmaier)
If Dogs Run Free, Vienna (Photo: Stefan Zenzmaier)
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Then why can't we?

Then why can't we?

VIENNA (AT) - 'If dogs run free' are the words displayed above the entrance to a bar that recently opened in the 6th District of Vienna, inviting passers-by to enter. It is a meeting place for students, neighbours, the after work crowd, and – not to be forgotten – the owners themselves. Tzou Lubroth Architekten were asked to design a venue, but when the original commissioner walked out, they decided to develop the location anyway. If Dogs Run Free is now co-owned by the two architects, plus a restaurateur, an actress and a graphic designer. The spot has turned out to be the perfect location for a neighbourhood bar.

In addition to being a place to enjoy a good drink and a nice chat, above all the space was designed to invite fantasy, encouraging people to enjoy art and design outside the traditional context of a gallery or museum. To achieve this, the ceiling is like a blank canvas: the entire surface is reserved for designers and artists to create (annual) installations with the theme Mensch und Natur (Man and Nature).

If Dogs Run Free, Vienna (Photo: Stefan Zenzmaier)

The first installation was designed by the architects: an abstracted, upside-down mountain landscape, comprised of a patchwork of geometric tiles. The tiles shift in size and tone, creating two interwoven colour gradients, an image that is extended to infinity by the mirrors behind the bar.


The presence of the ceiling installation is emphasized by the desaturated colours of the interior: black plastered walls, a floor of poured asphalt, and furnishings of steel and black medium-density fibreboard (MDF). In fact, If Dogs Run Free can be read as a black box theatre, with the actual stage not being the floor, but all that hovers above.

In a famous song that carries the same title, the words 'If dogs run free' is followed by the line, 'Then why not we?' And indeed, why not do it yourself? Tzou Lubroth found the answer in designing their very own extended living room, a place that invites everyone to let their imaginations run free.
If Dogs Run Free, Vienna (Photo: Stefan Zenzmaier)
If Dogs Run Free, Vienna (Photo: Stefan Zenzmaier)
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If Dogs Run Free, 2012

Architect: Tzou Lubroth Architekten
Graphic design: Maria Prieto Barea
Client: Private
Location: Gumpendorfer Strasse 10, Vienna
Eating & Drinking, Objects, People | Hannah Schubert
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