Temporary Bar by Diogo Aguiar and Teresa Otto


Designers Diogo Aguiar and Teresa Otto of Portugal have designed and built a temporary bar made of 420 IKEA storage boxes for a competition organised by the architecture faculty at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal.

The modular white cube was built by the students in Parque da Cidade, Porto, and could be transformed into a bar by partly folding open one of its walls.

The semi-translucent storage boxes varied in size and were fixed onto a metal structure.

At night they were lit using LED lights that responded to the music being played, each box giving a different brightness according to its depth.

See also: The Bucky Bar (February 2010), a temporary bar made of umbrellas.

Photographs are by Sandra Neto and Diogo Aguiar.

Here is some more information from the designers:

Year after year, the students of Porto School of Architecture are invited to think on a temporary bar to represent their institution with the expected dignity, as an outstanding architectural object. The given implantation, the fast construction and the low budget are some of the premises which must be considered.

The proposed bar stands as an iconic cube of light, composed of modular parts.

Taking advantage of the IKEA build-by-your-own world, the project is a parallelepiped made out of different depth storage boxes which give it the modular diversity on its textured skin.

After winning the competition, some adjustments were done and the bar grew to 4,7 metre high, standing as a visual reference.

Built in one week with the help of students, it was completed one month after the jury announcement.

A total of 420 boxes were first fixed on a wooden structure and then attached to the main metal structure, on site.

A huge LED net was fixed behind the boxes, allowing the bar to dramatically change its appearance: by day a white abstract and closed volume; and by night a box of changing light following the DJ set.

Projects' Name: Temporary Bar
Building Site: Parque da Cidade, Porto, Portugal
Principal Use: Bar
Floor Area: 9m²

Architecture: Diogo Aguiar and Teresa Otto
Graphic Design: Diogo Aguiar and Teresa Otto
Client: Associação de Estudantes da Faculdade de Arquitectura (AEFAUP)
Structure and other Specialties: Acústica F.E.S., Lda – Estruturas, Iluminação e Som, with the colaboration of students of AEFAUP.
Photography: Sandra Neto and Diogo Aguiar

Posted on Thursday February 25th 2010 at 9:01 am by Antonia Anastasiadi. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • leo


  • Tiago Andrade

    Great Work, the best temporary Bar ever.

    Are there other works from the same team?

  • Natan

    wow, best use of ikea stuff I’ve seen in ages. it is both minimal and fun, great project guys!

  • Maura

    Good to see here something “made in Portugal”. Congratulations!

  • Joana Simões

    Completely “out-of-the-box”!
    Love it.

  • Andreia Vieira

    Congratulations Diogo and Teresa!

    Good architecture can and should be everywhere!… and it isn’t expensive! :)

  • Dominique

    Otimo! Parabens Diogo! Espero ver mais obras de vc! Beijo!

  • gab xiao

    supercool! and no intrusion to the context where it lies!

  • fvale

    ahah, too bad everyone was too drunk to notice it :D good work though :)

  • mvb

    I think this project is great! The idea solve all the problems. The construction is simple and fast, the materials are very cheap and the image of the bar is cool and funny. What else can I ask for?

  • when the budget is tight, the best ideas come along. great project. totally outside the box!
    love the movement given by the different depths!

  • Great design ! Soo elegant and funny. Great place to party !

  • manuel magalhães

    This is rock n´roll arquiteture! hope you like the set of kulture brothers tomorrow! :)

  • Sofia Otto

    This temporary bar was the best in the world…I had a lot of cool drinks there..It was legen…wait for it…dary!!! Kisses

  • Q

    sem dúvida uma das melhores barracas de sempre da queima a fasquia n é muito alta mas esta destaca-se em nível de qualidade a milhas, n gostei foi do excesso de luz e o desperdicio de electricidade n m parece uma opção inteligente nos dias que correm …

  • helena o.

    great ideia!!

  • Rita Afonso

    Love it!

  • Kristen

    Love your idea.

  • This is a great blog that is devoted to exploring new clever uses of IKEA furniture:


  • eva

    fantastic! these students must be really talented!

  • eugenius

    Great project!! I’d get wasted in your bar anyday. nice one. the lighting is just bleeding brilliant.

  • modular

    haha….. when a portuguese projects appears here, portuguese people comment like this was made by the gods. This is pure priceless gold. Only found on Dezeen!

    P.S. – no wonder Siza is still #1, after over 50 years of work…

  • Ben

    Ikea should hire these guys for marketing. Think fresh. Really great job.

  • cacas

    multiply by 20 and put more people inside! very nice! parabens!

  • bebo

    first time i see sth temporary and beautiful. well executed.

  • architect

    too bad it’s (was) temporary. couldn’t be ‘nailed’ in or moved to another location…for good!?

  • very nice!

    Portuguese artists in action :)

  • João Manuel Alves


  • helder

    nothing new and nothing exiting.it is a great idea for the used materials,but at 15 euros each box it gives you a total of 6.300 euros for the boxes only,of couse the led lighting as to be around 10 euros for each box and that gives you a total of 4.200 euros and more 2000 euros for the inside materials and also another 2000 euros for the steel frame,it all balances for a cost of around 14.500 euros ,without fridges and sinks and speedrails or shelves.i reckon that all cost around 20.000 euros and that its very expensive,you can buy a modular house for less than that in these days.

  • Ismael

    Helder, sorry
    please consult ikea catalog. Each box 1 euro!
    So…when we don’t know, we don’t speak.
    Congratulations architects