Beresford Hotel bar by Kerry Phelan Design Office, Sydney

March 28th, 2012 by retail design blog

The brief was to create a live music venue that would appeal to inner city locals in particular. We immediately looked to venues in London and NYC for inspiration. We wanted to retain the laid back feeling of the existing pub downstairs, but as the venue will be attracting international acts, were keen to add a bit of glamour.

Architecturally, the Beresford is a mixture of many eras. Perhaps the strongest influence that remains is the art deco period. This stuck in our minds when we designed the tiered curved ‘cabaret club’ seating and the podium stage. The overall feel is contemporary but the references to the 30s really did strike a chord with us.

While there is cohesion between the two main spaces, each has a decidedly different look. Our main challenge was to make this venue look undesigned. It is almost as if each room was conceived by a different person at a different time. We wanted the spaces to appear as if they’d evolved over a number of years.

The main part of the space is windowless, so it was important to make it feel airy yet cosy. We achieved this through the use of warm colours and polished brass. The predominantly light colour scheme had to be contrasted with darker finishes in the more heavy traffic areas. The spaces are all lit with ‘found’ wall or pendant lights and a huge custom designed brass chandelier that can be dimmed down to bounce golden light around the room.

The soft furnishings and furniture have an obvious domestic feel despite the fact that everything is designed to perform in the tough conditions of a band room. Having worked with this client before, we knew that the success of his venues is through making people feel at home.

Designed by Kerry Phelan Design Office

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