design: Joshua Bacon Design
builder: Everleigh Building Solutions
carpet: Feltex Carpets
tiles: Classic Tiles, Olde English Tiles:
wall cladding: Stackpanel
booth fabric: Warwick Fabrics
upholstery: Cover Me Upholstery
lighting: Mao & More
furniture: Nufurn, Prototype Commercial Furniture
To walk into this narrow long bar architect Joshua Bacon’s first thought was “We were in the foyer of a dated hotel. Fake veneer panelled surfaces, shiny polished concrete flooring and black & chrome furniture. There was no inviting feature to give character to the space! Our goal was to create a variety of Asian themed warm spaces with an alternative edge. An escape from the modern concrete jungle that is Chatswood!”
Recently purchased by the client – Pelathon Management Group – who required a quick cost effective turnaround; encouraged Joshua Bacon Design to think outside the status quo and capture an atmospheric bar that welcomed the patron, encouraged them to stay, eat, drink and play. This approach resulted in the reinterpretation of many of the original features as possible. A theme of re-use which created instant warmth with a mix of original, replica and modern fixtures and furniture collected from a variety of sources.
The bar has been divided into three distinct areas; each treated individually yet coming together as if walking down a back street of Hanoi. The layout reconfigured to accommodate a large upstairs TAB lounge which gave opportunity for an exquisite gaming and smoking area at street level and the creation of a quirky bar and dining experience! This was all achieved while the premise remained in operation.
The newly relocated TAB reflects an extension to one’s lounge with big screens and comfortable couches. No pretty up here! A definite man’s domain with the re-use of existing materials and furniture – an almost handy-mans approach to his work shed! As a testament to its design the upstairs venue has attracted punters and is now one of the busiest TAB’s in the area resulting in becoming an AHA Awards Finalist for 2011!
The gaming area has been layered with lush carpet, Asian style lighting & screens, pressed metal panels of fish scales to be off set with an aquarium. The colours are gold, tans and deep reds to attract the local population. A sizable smoking area has been seamlessly included to give the feeling of spaciousness.
The main bar was approached from a more humorous angle. Original features retained include; polished concrete flooring, acoustic ceiling, windows and bar equipment which have been cleverly incorporated into the new design; therefore saving dollars! The back of bar display was pulled apart and turned back to front, illuminating the panels, adding metallic paint and timber shelves to give the impression of change. The veneer walls and bar have been reclad in recycled timbers and corrugated sheeting sourced from the builder’s family farm then combined with a collection of art deco tiles.
A variety of booth seating, unusual lights of colanders, lotus flowers & fish nets combined with Chinese screens, random fabrics, snake skin tiles and 1950’s radios give an urban edge.
For the final touch JBD used their in-house artistic talents to paint murals and stencils of fighting roosters, hidden dragons, monkeys, water lilies, naked fairies and rats scurrying past the kitchen. A dark humour sure to instigate a conversation over a beverage!
The final touch was to attract the passer-by! Located on the corner of a busy intersection at the base of a modern un-emotive grey apartment block the bar needed to reach out. JBD grabbed the moment and used the curved monochrome facade to its advantage. With the simple use of lighting, pressed metal and reliance on the movement and colour of people inside the Monkey bar was able to pop!
“The bar’s huge success is definitely due to a combination of all involved; from the owners to management to architect to builder to tradie to supplier. It was a very hands on experience as every person had to a varying degree an input which has created a busy suburban bar and dining experience,” said Joshua Bacon.