Bar Luce: the coffee imagined by Wes Anderson in Milan

Bar Luce: the coffee imagined by Wes Anderson in Milan

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In 2015 the Prada Foundation opened a new space in the south-east of Milan, an ex-distillery converted into an exhibition space dedicated to art, culture and cinema. Who better than director Wes Anderson, with his offbeat vision and graphic references, to furnish the bar? We find there his obsession with patterns, a palette of pastel colors and multiple winks to the universe of his films as to the Italian iconography which is dear to him.

At the bar

Fleur Louis The functional elements, coffee machine, juicer, blender and siphon, have been carefully chosen in a retro version to stick to the particular atmosphere and timelessness of the place. The staff also stay in tune with uniform jackets embroidered in pink with the name of the cafe.

Timeless coffee

Everything contributes to recreating a retro and faded provincial atmosphere and the Luce bar, although recently opened, seems to have been there for ages. Half-realistic, half-magical, it has the charm of these provincial places that have never changed.

On the ceiling of Luce cafe

Fleur Louis The motif of the ceiling reproduces that of the glass roof of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, one of the emblematic places in the center of Milan. The upper part of the walls is also decorated with a decorative fresco which takes elements from the gallery in miniature version.

Retro details

Fleur Louis The retro elements like the pink fridge or the typography used combine with the terrazzo floor, very common in homes and public spaces in Italy, to recreate a Milanese atmosphere tinged with childish reminiscences.

Jars and confectionery

Fleur Louis Candies, pastel ice creams and illuminated cakes make the coffee look fair. The jars of sugared almonds, an Italian specialty very present in confectionery, contribute both to bring a local touch and to decorate the coffee.

Accumulation of bottles

Fleur Louis The accumulation of ornate bottles and preserves in front of the already loaded wall decoration adds to the kitsch of the whole and illustrates the cult of the esthetic director for everyday objects.

Retro juke box

Foto Attilio Maranzano - Courtesy Fondazione Prada The shiny juke box and the pinball machines add to the retro and youthful atmosphere. It's the playful touch that reminds you that a cafe is not just a place to eat, but also where you meet and relax. They invite you to stop for a moment and make Luce coffee more than a movie set, a living place.

The pinball machines Wes Anderson

Fleur Louis The pinball machines inspired by the universe of Wes Anderson have been entirely customized and take up the themes of two of the director's films: Aquatic life and Castello Cavalcanti. One is dedicated to the underwater world, the other to the Molte Miglia, an imaginary car race inspired by the famous Italian race on the Mille Miglia road.

Symmetries and repetitions

Foto Attilio Maranzano - Courtesy Fondazione Prada We find in the layout of Bar Luce the taste of Wes Anderson for the effects of symmetries and repetitions. The globes of light, the columns and the covering of the walls thus give the illusion of perfect reflection, although the space, divided between the service area and that dedicated to consumption, is not symmetrical in itself.


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