The existing space for Donny’s, located in Manly, New South Wales, and designed by Luchetti Krelle, was a stark white plasterboard box with a commercial look and feel. The brief was to create a warm and friendly New York style loft bar which would serve Asian style tapas and dumplings – on a tight budget.
Avoiding overt Asian theming, the designers instead opted for a pared back approach to the design, to suit the limited budget set for the project.
Luchetti Krelle weren’t able to ‘add’ to the space or completely strip the venue of itself, rather they had to inherit the space and re-work it to suit. They had to turn a narrow space with a mezzanine level and minimal windows into a New York style loft bar.
It was also difficult to achieve the kitchen demands to meet the required output, and maintain total covers. Recycled materials (and fittings such as re-birthed cisterns) helped Luchetti Krelle to achieve the desired result within the allocated budget.
The budget was tight and the design team needed to work hard to innovate within their means, and this project’s results are an example of this. They were creative in the use of every day materials to become features, like canvas lorry tarps for doors, chain-link fencing stretched across the upper ceiling screening the acoustic panels, and using recycled timber and brick for the majority of the palette, together with low cost materials to provide texture throughout.
This project is shortlisted for the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2014, in the Australia & Pacific Bar category.
Images © Michael Wee