Restaurants and bars used to be judged upon the quality of the food and drinks they offer. Nowadays ambiance and great environment count almost as much as food, beverage and service.
With previous experience in interior design for hospitality in Europe, I am really interested in the designs that artists create in bars and restaurants. Playing with shapes, textures, colors and lighting to create different atmospheres at different times of the day is something really challenging but exciting.
And when interior designers get it right, it is extremely rewarding! I’ve identified a series of bars and and restaurants worldwide that have an exceptional setting and I comment each of them, highlighting what makes them unique.
Continuing my research to get more inspiration and to be constantly in touch with what happens worldwide in interior design, I found the work of Splinter Society Architecture very interesting. Among the variety of projects designed by this award winning agency, under the directorship of Asha Nicholas and Chris Stanley, one caught my attention: The Howler.
The Howler is an Australian bar based in Melbourne. This venue won the Restaurant and Bar design award in the Australia & Pacific Bar category. The brief for this building of 1,000sqm was to design a space with a “hidden local feel” for up to 700 people.
This idea was to divide the space into several corners for clients attending multiple, simultaneous artistic activities, having evening drinks or grabbing a midday coffee… Each sections showcase lighting design using shadows and colors to fill voids and give accents. The overall interior uses a palette of simple, recycled and low cost materials, along with basic construction techniques to give a hand-crafted feeling of texture, tactility and warmth.