Project Team

design: TomMarkHenry


lighting: Ross Gardam, Bruce Rowe
furniture: Studioilse, Thonet, James Richardson

Made by the Hill is a new social destination at Rooty Hill RSL that’s bringing the Scandinavian style of boutique bars and city cafés to Western Sydney. Designed by TomMarkHenry in collaboration with Altis Architecture, the revitalised space is relaxed and comfortable with a soft, natural and durable aesthetic to cater for a broad range of demographics and functions Rooty Hill RSL was established as a small social club in the early 1960s. From modest beginnings, it has since become the largest RSL in Australia with more than 48,000 members. A series of major developments have taken place over the decades, the most recent being a reinvention of the existing bar and dining space. Made by the Hill is set to be one of Western Sydney’s premier social venues offering a blend of bar, café, burger joint, lounge and entertainment. Patrons can dine on Chur Burger or Pasticceria Papa, grab a coffee, craft beer or cocktail, listen to DJs on Friday nights or watch a game on Saturday nights.

Facilitating this variety of functions, and accommodating large numbers of people and wide-ranging demographics required careful spatial planning. Circulating around the new island bar, the open-plan floor space has been divided into a series of zones to offer a more human scale and provide different levels of comfort and atmosphere.

Banquette areas and long tables are for larger groups; and intimate pockets, booths and counter-height bars are for smaller groups and couples.

The gentle palette of dusty pinks, pale yellows and soft greys complement the soft curves of the seating, booths and bars, which are drenched in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling window façade. Greenery throughout Made by the Hill adds contrasting colour and life.

The Scandinavian-style furnishings, which offer durability and longevity in both practical and aesthetic terms, have rounded forms, organic lines and wooden frames.

This includes classic pieces such as Thonet’s spindle-back Arka armchair; the cane-woven Benko chair; the Ironica beechwood dining chair as an updated version of the iconic Windsor; and Studioilse’s two-seater De La Espada with its high stick back.These are matched with contemporary upholstered chairs with enveloping forms that still reference Danish design. Natural materials continue throughout Made by the Hill with oak and walnut tabletops, Blackbutt timber, stone and marble, and leather, canvas and wool.

Chair Ironica

The simplicity, retro style and variety of available colors allow Ironica chair to become an interior solitaire. The back part is made of seven hand-smoothed bars holding the bent backrest. This chair is easy to combine with its namesake table.

James Richardson

Altis Architecture designed the striking three-dimensional ceiling feature that radiates from the bar, and both Altis and TomMarkHenry worked with lighting consultant Malaya Blonde to design the functional and ambient lighting plan.

The variety of pendant lights includes Ross Gardam’s spun-aluminium Ora and Bruce Rowe’s ceramic Potter light.

TomMarkHenry thrives on the creative and collaborative development of unique and exceptional spaces such as Made by the Hill, and its authentic and adaptable approach ensures the dynamic studio continues to push the boundaries of design and expectation.