Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 164 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
has a life," she says. "If you're following obvious
trends, it often means something is overdone and
you'll very quickly find that it gets tired.
"So without wanting to sound vague and
esoteric, and maybe even a little bit glib, we really
do what feels right. And going back to well-
considered design, you don't necessarily need
to be reinventing the wheel, the key is just to do
whatever it is you're doing bloody well."
Despite all this, our experts do note a couple of
current design trends.
"A couple of years ago, we wouldn't have
designed a tavern or hotel without provisions for
live entertainment, even in small bars," recalls
Ian. "Now, it's not a requirement like it used to
be because we haven't got the spread of bands
that we used to have. e quality and cost of these
bands is prohibitive, so now venues really rely
more on audiovisual distribution of sound and
music to entertain people."
Edwin believes international trends are more
eclectic than ever. ere are no rules and with
ever-improving technology, architecture and
interiors have become a lot more organic.
"Ten to 15 years ago, doing something in a free-
form shape was much, much more expensive than
it is today," he says. " e technologies coming
through and our ability to manipulate material has
had a big impact in the past 10 years."
Jenlin has also noticed this trend. Her clients are
increasingly requesting natural, environmentally
friendly materials to be worked into the design.
To keep customers interested, it's important that
venues constantly evolve.
"Realistically you're probably talking a
maximum life span of around five years in
hospitality, then you have to turn the venue
over in a significant way," suggests Edwin who
says that those who don't reposition themselves
regularly are swallowed by their competition.
" e Subi Hotel does it really well. You go there
on a Friday night and you can't get into the place
and it's been like that for a very long time. e basis
of their venue is well designed and functional and
they're constantly reworking their interiors -- seats,
tables, servery areas and so on. I think reworking
the facility is the key (to long term success)."
Having a clear and succinct business plan, that
doubles as an implementation strategy, gives the
designer a very clear blueprint from which he or
she can create the perfect space.
"A lot of people write a business plan to get
finance. e smarter business people are writing a
plan like an implementations strategy that works
as a blueprint for the next five years," says Michael.
"Essentially, we establish what you want,
when you want it, who are you serving it to, at
what time of day, at what price point and what
your strategy is. e designer then gets a really
succinct brief and can totally blitz the client's
15 hospitality design tips
Our experts o er their top tips for creating
a successful hospitality space:
1 Know your target market -- design
appropriately for your customer base,
operating times and so on.
2 Engage the services of reputable and
experienced architects and interior
designers who have a track record and
understand the complex array of licensing,
planning, building and health authority
3 Understand what hospitality venues cost at
the outset and set a realistic budget. Spend
the money on what people see and hear,
rather than on what they don't.
4 In hospitality design, functional and e cient
workflows are essential for customer
satisfaction and profitability. Consider the
"o er" and operational style of the venue in
the design process, including the menu and
food/drinks service in relation to the social
arrangements of patrons in the venue.
5 Ensure there's the right balance between the
front-of-house and back-of-house (service,
storage, kitchens, toilets and servery) areas.
6 Don't underestimate the importance of
great looking toilet facilities.
7 Incorporate sustainable building design
principles like north-facing orientation and
protection from strong sea breezes for
8 Design must be inspirational and inviting
to the user but also resilient to the harsh
treatment of a public service environment,
so ensure furniture selections are functional
and suit their intended purpose.
9 Lighting, lighting, lighting! Whether it be
overt, a centrepiece, minimal or "invisible", it's
crucial that lighting is applied appropriately
to the required mood and ambience.
10 Ensure there is easy access to and within
the venue and create a large degree of flow
throughout the venue.
11 The venue is essentially the marketing
product. In the interior/exterior design,
make visual statements that will become
12 Make sure venues have longevity through
use of texture, colour and appropriate
13 Use the latest audiovisual, multimedia and
lighting systems where appropriate.
14 Interiors should be visible from the exterior
to entice patrons into the venue.
15 At the end of the day, the venue should
be somewhere you'd like to spend time,
whether it is with your friends, partner or
Saracen Estates is an example of a hospitality business whose owners clearly identified their target market from the outset.
Saracen Estates images courtesy of Bollig Design Group; photography Michael Conroy, Silvertone Photography
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