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The brewery is located along Albany Highway, inside a multi-residential building. Image: Supplied.
  • Location makes serendipitous connection to flagship south coast brewery
  • Fireplace is fundamental to the spatial articulation of the tenancy
  • The classic Sebel Hobnob chair in dark blue may remind visitors of their school days

Occupying a ground-floor tenancy in a new mixed use multi-residential building in Victoria Park, the space presented a blank canvas and a unique set of challenges for the creation of a brewery by Design Theory.

Location steeped with meaning

Victoria Park offered a logical location for the first metropolitan outpost of this popular brewery; the family behind Boston Brewery having strong ties to the area. The location also offered a serendipitous connection to their flagship Denmark brewery, with the Albany Highway address marking the beginning of a journey to the South Coast.

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The project brief required the new venue to honour the core values of the Boston brand – that of artisan craft with a focus on handmade. With the Denmark brewery functioning as a working venue, its utilitarian character was to be translated into a simple, no-fuss design for the new venue, one that could stand alone and develop its own character and identity whilst still belonging to the Boston family.

Creating character

The considered application of materiality throughout the project is key to its success, with materials used to build character and atmosphere – a common thread in Design Theory’s work.

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Burnished brickwork and bespoke metalwork afford a patina that speaks to the artisan craftsmanship found in the production of Boston’s beer. Tiles, recycled hardwood and leather nostalgically reference the pubs of old.

Pops of vivid colour along with layering of textures and materials create depth, while picture rails, dados and skirting add further to the overall character and atmosphere of the venue – successfully compensating for the lack of existing built fabric the designers had to build upon.

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The judicious selection of furniture throughout the project adds to the welcoming and familiar character of the space. Staples of pub dining rooms like banquets and half rounds finished in plywood and leather instil a sense of comfort.

The furniture pieces selected throughout are generous and forgiving, from the use of handmade leather seatpads on plywood boxes to robust picnic benches in the alfresco area.

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The specification of the classic Sebel Hobnob chair in dark blue within the dining room achieves a subconscious familiarity that would remind many visitors of their school days.

Spaces

Fundamental to the spatial articulation of the tenancy is a feature fireplace that serves as the centre-point of the venue – a key axis around which the planning is structured.

The fireplace punctuates the space and offers visitors the option to turn left towards the dining area, right to a casual bar, or upstairs to the mezzanine level, thereby subtly delineating spaces with different functionalities, and allowing the venue to cater to a broad and varied audience while working as a cohesive whole.

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On the ground floor, the bar commands a strong visual presence from the entry, taking cues from traditional pub configurations.

Upstairs the mezzanine level provides additional floor area and introduces a more intimate space with its own mood and energy. The deep blue colour palette, highly tactile finishes and separate bar create an area that stands alone yet remains connected to the wider venue.

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The mezzanine also serves to punctuate the double height volume of the tenancy and establishes a juxtaposition of space by dropping the ceiling height over the casual bar area.

Design Theory’s response to the brief has resulted in an interior that is sophisticated yet welcoming, with a depth of materiality that skillfully belies the venue’s age. The space pays homage to the traditional Australian pub, referencing the vernacular of numerous local watering holes in the area to create a venue that is warm and familiar.

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Written by James French. Photography by Dion Robeson.

This story was originally published in The Architect magazine, an official publication of the Australian Institute of Architects. It has been edited for republication by The Property Tribune. 

The Property Tribune thanks the Australian Institute of Architects for the opportunity to republish the work, and shine a light on Australian architecture.

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