It can be difficult to add a sense of place and authenticity to a brand-new building. For architect and director of Genesin Studio, Ryan Genesin, texture and layering of materials are the answer, something he used with great success in this recent project, a new restaurant/wine bar in Adelaide.
The bar, named Dolly Bar & Eatery, is located in Unley, just south of the Adelaide CBD. The owners wanted to create something special in the space, which is in a new building at the base of an apartment block. They already owned a number of hospitality venues in Adelaide, but they wanted Dolly to be “a step up” in terms of design and fitout, says Genesin.
The primary purpose of the venue is a wine bar, so the owners wanted to create a welcoming, layered space that allowed a steady flow of guests to enjoy a drink and light meal before moving on. Located in the stylish blue-chip area between Unley and King William Roads, expectations were high, and design was paramount.
The design of the interior has an industrial feel, with a spectacular bespoke concrete finish for the bar, sitting alongside timber feature walls and brick flooring. The rawness of the materials became the base for the choice of surfaces, says Genesin.
“We found it ended up being a futurist, brutalist type of aesthetic that we pulled together,” he says.
Tinto Cream bricks from PGH Bricks were chosen for the flooring of the bar, laid in a stacked bond pattern for a modern twist on an urban feel. The flooring adds an element of warmth, both literally and aesthetically, complementing the other materials used.
This is not the first time Genesin Studios has opted for brick flooring.
“We’ve used similar products on other projects,” explains Genesin, adding that it provided the perfect linking element throughout the space. “So, we’ve used a brick fascia, but it’s applied to make it feel like brick rather than feeling like a tile. I think that method creates more interest.”
Beyond the flooring
And the bricks don’t stop at the floor. They are wrapped around the base of the concrete-look walls instead of skirting, allowing the texture and look of the bricks to almost hug the space with their warm tones.
“The brick provides the detailing when you move through the space,” Genesin adds, saying that the servery also includes a façade of the Tinto Cream bricks, bookended by timber screens. “We did banquette seating and bench seating using the brick, plus an entry area as well, where you can see the detailing unfolding with the pattern as it wraps up to be a skirting.”
“When you’re in this space, people can appreciate the interest of having something a bit more than just a bench seat with upholstery. It’s more about layers on layers and it is brick tiled, with exposed detail on the edges. Everyone that sits there has something to look at.
“For us, creating that space, it was quite important to have little areas that create difference and separation through seating types. We’ve got bench seating, little booth areas, more flexible seating space, along with banquettes, high tables and bar seating.”
Bricks are ideal for commercial spaces such as bars because they are low in maintenance. The fact that they are natural products and sourced locally were other pluses for Genesin.
“We prefer to use local materials where we can for projects,” he says. “That always makes sense to us.”
Like all natural products, the bricks will gain a patina over the years and, hopefully, will settle into the neighbourhood and feel comfortable for the customers. The idea was to create a space that had longevity.
“For us, it was about having as much real material as possible and also knowing that it will age gracefully over time,” says Genesin.
About Tinto Cream Bricks
Tinto Cream Bricks are part of the Dry Pressed Architectural brick range and represent PGH’s highest pinnacle of luxury and style in Australian-made clay brick products. Exquisitely produced using a time-honoured dry pressed method, this range presents with exceptional consistency of strength, dimensional accuracy and colour all the way through the brick.