Z Bar was one of my friend’s highly recommended places to visit in Cebu because of its unique and impressive design. Because bars are always dimly lit, their interiors seldom have very detailed designs. But Z Bar is different.
After our first dinner in Cebu, Ana and I went to check the bar together with Ian (our impromptu photographer for the night, with his ever dependable Lumix camera) and our new-found friend Chito (our unofficial sponsor for the night, hehe).
I have seen photos of Z Bar before, but it looks way more amazing in person. Its design is a collaboration between modernist architect Ed Calma and designer Kenneth Cobonpue. Kenneth is internationally known for his organic furniture designs. Z Bar is, if I’m not mistaken, his first design applied on a full-scale interior. From what I gather, the primary motivation for the design was the small size of the space. So, to make the space look bigger, instead of highlighting the walls and ceiling, they were made to sort of disappear!
Those little wishbone-shaped stuff that seem to be floating in mid-air are bamboo twigs tied by hand onto a randomly welded metal frame. It is a blown-up, warped version of Kenneth’s Kris Kros screen which uses the same concept. Down on the floor are lighted onyx (translucent natural stone) tiles whose natural grains complement the overall organic look. This is the same material used for the lighted staircase (first photo). Apart from the lighted floor, there were also hanging accent lamps made from salago fibers, such as the round Moon lamp.
The bar felt and looked like there’s an abyss above you. Actually, I don’t know which is a more fitting association—a galaxy/outer space, an interior of a glowing beehive, or some scene in Avatar. You just have to see it for yourself.
Z Bar is located at the second floor of The Tinder Box, Archbishop Reyes Ave., Banilad, Cebu City.
*Photos courtesy of Ian Santos
Tags: bar, cebu, ed calma, kenneth cobonpue, organic design, z bar
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