Detail in Contemporary Bar and Restaurant Design
Ed. Drew Plunkett and Olga Reid
Lawrence King £35
I’m usually quite ambivalent about this kind of coffee table detail book, thinking that they present a triumph of style over substance, but perhaps one could say that about modern bar design in general – we have shorter attention spans and tire of things far quicker now. So as an expression of the typology’s general directionless malaise, this one works for me. With 50 or so projects covered in the book’s 200 pages, for a start, there’s adequate space to highlight some of the myriad approaches being adopted by designers to stimulate our neural networks, even if the martinis we’re drinking don’t. Projects are taken from around the world, giving a sense of local flavour, and also various budgets, so even the dog has its day. Naturally, photos abound, but there are plenty of drawings too, both plans and sections, as well as furniture, giving the book added value for inspiration-seeking architects. That said, I would recommend a lost Saturday night in Adolf Loos’ 1908 American Bar in Vienna as inspiration enough for anyone.