Designed by the American film director Wes Anderson in 2015, Bar Luce recreates the atmosphere of a typical Milanese cafè.
As explained by Anderson, “the approach I used to design this bar is exactly the opposite I usually use for the set designs of my movies. I tried to make it a bar you’d like to go to five times a week. When I was really young I wanted to be an architect, and this chance I’ve been given to pretend to be a real one is a childhood fantasy come true!”.
Bar Luce was conceived by the film director as “a space for real life with numerous good spots for eating, drinking, talking, reading, etc. While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set, I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.”
The café is located at the entrance building of Fondazione Prada. The range of colors, the formica furniture, the seats, the floor, and the wood wall panels are reminiscent of Italian popular culture and aesthetics from the 1950s and 1960s, echoing artistic decisions Anderson made for his short film Castello Cavalcanti (2013). The arched ceiling and the patterned decoration for the top half of the bar’s walls, recreate a ‘miniature’ version of the vaulted glass roof and the decorations of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of Milan’s symbolic buildings. Other iconographic sources have been equally inspirational, notably two masterpieces of Italian Neorealism, both set in Milan: Miracolo a Milano, 1951 (Miracle in Milan) by Vittorio De Sica and Rocco e i suoi fratelli, 1960 (Rocco and His Brothers) by Luchino Visconti.
The bar, accessible from the internal spaces of Fondazione Prada and from Via Orobia, has become one of the new highlights of the city of Milan.