LOCATION: 354 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
A large unfinished space (about 3000 square feet) including 2 balconies and a timeline from start to finish of about 6 months.
The brief was a live venue: with this we wanted to inject glamour into the music world and create a comfortable environment that welcomed everyone with a space that you could watch live-performance, local & international bands & acts. We wanted people to come as much for the music as for the interiors. This is a place to look glamorous, feel glamorous & drink cocktails. My colour inspiration came from Marion Hall Best, Australia’s first interior designer, who I was researching at the time.
The space was broken down into 4 sections:
1. Main bar & stage seating/viewing: We maintained a colour palette of shades of orange, brass & gold for the main bar: shabori stage curtains in warm tones of chocolate through to orange (dyed by a local shibori artist), oversized herringbone painted in tonal caramels, paint splattered chairs, mirrored tiles at the back of the bar, tiered seating with black & white upholstery with orange vinyl trims and columns stenciled with famous song titles.
2. Cocktail Bar: Ochre beaded silhouette chandeliers were hung from a painted fire-y orange pressed tin ceiling that continues the colour from the main bar into a largely blue & silvery grey environment. Wire fronted cabinets line one wall, full of books and Objet d’Art, with velvet & linen custom-made sofas, Ikat chairs, Shibori-dyed linen curtains & a leather DJ box in indigos in front. This maintains a resident-like feel in this area.
3. Balconies: There are two verandahs with great furniture: think white, industrial and loads & loads of pots & lanterns (over 100 potted plants & trees were used in this space!).
4. Entrance & Transitional Areas: These spaces were considered as much as the rest. I had an arrow shape in my mind. My electrician showed me a new LED neon that led to creating oversized orange neon arrows that direct people up the stairs. They not only offered a colour & visual reference (which we then incorporated into the logo) but were a solution to the problem of not being able to access the walls for wires & people bumping lights. Throughout the long corridor in the main space we had billposters made from family archives, mainly printed in black & white with some washed in day-glo orange, with the plan that additional posters from performing acts in the space would be slowly added.