Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 162 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
venues that do it well
Little Creatures It's a beer factory with attitude
you can feel even before you walk in.
The Subiaco Hotel It's timeless with a basic
formula of front bar, middle bar, restaurant
and courtyard. It serves great food and it's
Harvest The whole place comes together
inconspicuously, yet a whole lot of e ort has
gone into creating the ambience and the
operation within it.
The Cabin It's purposefully eclectic, and that's
very hard to do from a standing start.
Helvetica It's a very simple room with exquisite
detailing, but only where it counts. And it's just
a great bar.
Wolfe Lane Chic and stylish, this new CBD
bar has subtle decor yet still manages to
achieve that "wow" factor.
Saracen Estates and Duckstein Brewery
It's a large space that successfully blends wine
and beer, and is comfortable no matter what
The Breakwater Winning a whole stack of
awards at the 2009 AHA Aon Hotel Awards,
this is a great example of how a venue can
o er flexibility and cater to a wide rage of
target markets comfortably and stylishly.
Must Margaret River Both casual and formal,
the new Must Margaret River has a fantastic
atmosphere that's not over the top.
" e interior aesthetic has to evoke a welcoming
image, create great ambience and have a timeless
feel through using texture, colour and appropriate
material selection," she says, adding that
appropriate lighting also helps to set the mood.
When it comes to furnishings, it's important
to ensure they suit their intended purpose, and
larger spaces should be flexible enough to be
easily manipulated or changed to suit a variety of
functions and user groups.
At Bremick, Michael compares his job to that of
an art curator. "A successful fitout should be a lot
like an art gallery. It should support the art, or the
main act, and that's the food, or the coffee or the
vibe. e fitout shouldn't scream at you -- it should
complement in such a way that it's not one thing,
like the lounge or the light fitting, that people go
away and say they love. It's the blending of all
the elements in such a subtle way that allows the
product to shine."
is "x-factor" is largely intangible, however
Michael says that a good, disciplined designer
can harness the appropriate vibe by subtly
blending lighting, temperature, volume, textures
A venue's acoustics are another important
consideration. "We're going through a hard-
surface phase, which makes life difficult when it
comes to acoustics," says Ian.
"In (hard surfaced) venues, we really try hard
to get more acoustics in the ceilings and on the
walls where we can. In the old days, the carpets,
tablecloths and curtains just about absorbed all
the noise. e less acoustic treatment you have,
the more noise levels rise and people talk louder
and louder to get over this noise. It becomes a
shouting match and that's common in restaurants
today. It's very uncomfortable."
To get around this, Frank and Ian suggest using
noise-absorbing materials disguised as graphics
and artwork on the walls and ceiling.
Acoustics were a major obstacle at Saracen
Estates. To ensure patrons could talk comfortably
in what's quite a large, open space, Edwin and his
team created a timber ceiling.
"While it's a very expensive design, the ceiling
was designed very specifically for the acoustics of
the space," he says.
" ere are so many cafes and restaurants where
you can't hear the people you're with through the
echo. We were very conscious of that because the
venue can sit 200 to 300 people, yet you can still
have a conversation with the person sitting next to
you, even when it's full, which is very important."
ose who try to copy designs seen elsewhere, or
become slaves to a particular trend, run the risk of
creating a space that's cliched.
Instead, Miranda recommends creating a fitout
to suit your target market.
"If something's done well, we like to think it
Helvetica (above and far top right), Must Margaret River (top centre), The Cabin (bottom centre) and the
Subiaco Hotel (far bottom right) are all examples of well thought-out, e ective hospitality design.
Helvetica images courtesy of the DIA (WA); Must Margaret River courtesy of Must Margaret River; The Cabin image
courtesy of The Cabin, photography Thomas Perry, TeePee Design; Subiaco Hotel image courtesy of the Subiaco Hotel
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