design: The Society Inc
Photos by Chris Court
The new design of Hotel Palisade is the journey of the building, from past to present. Walk into the original character of the building in the ground floor bar, which pays homage to days gone-by, with the hustle and bustle of the early harbor port days of the Rocks.
The design is inspired by the small trades of eras passed: the handtooled, handsmithed and handtinkered. Everything you see and feel is bespoke, handcrafted items by locally based master craftsmen and tradesmen. The fixtures and finishes are a nod to this industrial past using humble and honest materials… zinc, steel, leather, canvas, copper and timber. Celebrate the materials that patina and get better with age (and with a little bit of tough love, too).
You may still hear the jeers of the larrikins and the ‘wharfies’ coming to drink after a day waiting for ships to dock. You might catch the cackles and calls of the mothers and aunties for their little ones to come in from days riding billy carts and mock war games on the streets. You will feel the ruggedness of the surface under layers of thoughtful design.
On offering is a harp back to the time of oyster bars and the staple that the sea offered. This is a place where the history of the community is both wicked and respectable, but always with a very strong sense of camaraderie. The colour palette is inspired by the spectacular views of the Sydney waters and the original tiles that line the inner walls and their many moods of green.
Whereas Level 4 is inky & rich as you ascend the steel clad staircase , you reach the top of the world – all airy, bright and magical. Floaty hand dipped curtains blow in the breeze, as waiters glide around pink leather sofas and a handprinted leather DJ box with cocktails and oysters. The designers built a curved glass panelled kitchen that meets the porcelain and leather fronted bar that flanks the Southern wall. The salvaged hardwood floor is a nod to the areas industrial past lit by custom brass cap shades. Everything in this space is custom-made and handtouched by many talented artists, makers, painters, tinkerers, drapers, creatives, builders, smiths, signwriters, wrights, potters, tanners, glaziers, electricians and pickers.