Suzanne Faltenbacher (Architect), Daniel Kronwinkler (Designer), Nicola Schmidt (Student apprentice)
Milch und Bar
In 2007, Milch Und bar celebrated its 10th anniversary. A big “age” for a bar and club, and more than just a few are of the opinion that this bar has consistently revived itself and has already achieved cult status.
Since 1997, Studioacht has redesigned the Milch Und Bar three times, architecturally as well as interior design. In 2008, the studio is once again commissioned with the designing and overall planning of the bar at a new location.
After years spent in two different industrial areas, the operators decided to move to Munich city centre adjacent to Munich’s main station and amidst the vicinity of cinemas, city theatre and a lively street. The club moved to the 1st floor of a municipal building.
The architects decided to make the entranceway as inconspicuous as possible retaining the urban characteristics of the existing entrance.
At night, two folding metal grilles open. The ground floor is home to the reception counter produced by high-gloss polished stainless steel. Behind the open grilles, the red curtains are the only indication that one is entering a new club.
A staircase leads to the upper floor where the Milch Und Bar receives its guests in a space exceeding 320 m2. The bar structure is the focal furniture element in the main room, everything is controlled from here. The DJ’s workstation is also integrated into this furniture which is raised up a level to overlook the bar room. At night, eight bartenders offer their services from 11.00pm to 8.00am.
The physical body of the bar is fully varnished and comprises flame retardant wooden planes with glossy red surface. The vertical joints are 5 mm wide to underline the graphic linearity which results from the modular alignment. In order to accentuate the cubic nature of the bar, its design incorporates no projection, but a low counter of just 1.03 to correspond with the low ceiling height. Only the edges have been elaborately furnished with high-gloss stainless steel.
The building, dated back to the 1960’s exhibited a number of static weaknesses, and some awkward details need to be considered: First, the low heights ranging from just 2.30m to 2.85m need to “disappear”, and the issue of sound transferral on the upper levels also need to be overcome architecturally.
A room in room system was designed; with an air gap to the existing walls and insulating materials behind an offset stud wall to decouple the noise. The complete music system (loudspeakers) was then neatly integrated into this wall.
All walls, ceilings and flooring, which comprises of a special coating, are matt black. This solved the problem of a static construction overload with many joists in varying heights and low room height. Due to the use of black, the transitions from the floor to ceiling are eliminated.
The use of red lights, a distinguishing characteristic since the Milch Und Bar first came into existence, is even more emphatic by design and is also accentuated in all furniture pieces.
Lighting in the main room and all fittings are finished in red. This is only supplemented in the bar area and DJ booth by spotlights integrated into recessed cubes. These lights dispense point illumination onto the bar and the shelving of drinks, which the planners have designed in high-gloss stainless steel.
All neon tubes were covered manually with a special film to bring the desired colour of intensive glowing red which bathes the faces of guests in an attractive shade throughout the night.
A special feature of this club is the large window area which provides free views of the popular Sonnenstrasse during the night and the busy traffic in all directions. Double glass panes have been installed vertically and horizontally. The transparent red glass, combined with the red light from the neon tubes, transform the outside into an almost surreal dream world. Hallways lead guests to adjoining cloakrooms and a side lounge. Glowing lights from disproportionately dimensioned mirrored bulbs suspended in bundles from the ceiling on thin steel cables. As an alternative ceiling light, the ring motifs project ornamental images to the ceiling.
All end points of the hallway are accentuated with tinted mirrors creating interesting spatial changes and renewed suspense due to the labyrinthine configuration.
In the cloakroom and WC’s, the furniture is produced from oiled oak. The ladies and gents WC’s feature a storage system with compartments where hand towels are rolled and draped.
The lounge offers a sweet selection of sandwiches, beverages and other items displayed in a black steel cabinet with glass doors. This furniture is produced from leather, manually detailed with fine lap seams. Fringes from twisted silken cords are added here in homage to the private clubs from the 1930’s.
In front of the half-height windows overlooking the inner courtyard, black silk threads with hand-finished glittering stainless steel chains are used as curtains to protect a long night’s clubbing against the onset of dawn.