Mixing an industrial aesthetic with heritage sensibilities gave this venue in Norwood, SA, just the right feel, says Lucy Bock of Hecker Guthrie
“After designing Sparrow and Farina [in Adelaide], this was the third project that Hecker Guthrie completed with Olivia and Matthew Trim. The building was an old Victorian terrace with a heritage overlay to the facade. It’s always been used for hospitality purposes and when we became involved, it was being run as a seafood restaurant.
“The front interior, where the bar is situated, is very much in its original state. There are beautiful archways and really high ceilings which we embraced and felt lucky to have. The back area of the restaurant was an addition that actually worked in our favour. It had big skylights that filled the back half of the restaurant with this amazing light.
“The theme is definitely an industrial aesthetic contrasted against the Victorian heritage of the building. The front half of the restaurant doesn’t have a lot of natural light and we embraced that to create a ‘bar’ ambience by using dark timbers, concrete-coloured tiles and steel Thonet bar stools. We filled the space with vintage industrial furniture pieces from Guy Mathews [www.guymathewsindustrial.com.au] that all have a strong presence within that Victorian building.
“In contrast to the dark industrial theme at the front area of the restaurant, we wanted to be able to walk through the building and into the restaurant like a breath of fresh air. We had all this light coming through the skylight and we painted the floor a light grey and the walls bright white. We styled the space so it had a sense of an interior garden with the light dappling through the skylight. There were Tuscan olive trees, rosemary pots and herbs growing in old wine barrels. The mint-coloured bentwood chairs and over-dyed pink/purple vintage rugs added to the soft essence of the restaurant as opposed to all the steel and the concrete that was used in the bar.
“The ‘Highgate’ pendant lights—big half semi-circles sitting over all the bar tables—were purchased online from Jim Lawrence [jim-lawrence.co.uk] in the UK. In the dining room we used metres and metres of lighting cable with a really cute houndstooth black-and-white pattern. The ‘N.U.D. Classic’ cable, was through Great Dane Furniture [www.greatdanefurniture.com]. It must have driven the electrician batty trying to install such a ridiculous quantity of cable.
“In the bar area, we chose to display a lot of taxidermy, a collection of old vintage plates and butterflies in little frames. The dining area has a very botanical interior and we hung a fantastic Dane Lovett painting of a small flower specimen. He is an amazing Melbourne artist and we were thrilled to have one of his works. We also chose a series of cool vintage posters sourced from Angelucci [www.angelucci.net.au] in Melbourne.
“Just after the project was completed, we went over for a visit. It was the middle of the day and the whole atmosphere was refined and comfortable. We were very pleased with the end result.”
1 Balmain Street
Richmond VIC 3121
T: (03) 9421 1644