Potts Point, Sydney
Converting a bakery into a modern Korean restaurant requires quite the transformation as Paper Bird, in Potts Point, Sydney demonstrates.
The premises consist of a partially underground, long narrow space, with little natural light or street presence.
The bakery fit-out was high quality and contained many bespoke elements, including a handsome concrete counter and mirrored banquet seating. For environmental reasons a decision was made to retain as much of that infrastructure as possible, to only do what was absolutely necessary.
A dramatic transformation was achieved with small gestures.
The two major changes were lining the walls with painted timber battens, necessary to create the desired acoustic environment, and the addition of a finely detailed steel bar to the counter and front of the restaurant.
The biggest difference was created by the new colour scheme. Previously, the entire bakery had been painted in a high gloss, light caramel colour.
The architect envisaged painting the battens with a soft blue-green colour, inspired by Korean Dancheong painting, a polychromatic technique used on historic wooden buildings around Seoul. Dancheong literally means ‘Cinnabar and Blue-Green’. Lymesmith researched and developed the colour palette to incorporate four Resene custom made shades of green complemented by Resene Tall Poppy and Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta.
The strategic placement of each colour dramatically improved the spatial qualities of the narrow and deep interior, at the same time, the blue-green colours sit harmoniously with the brass, copper, zinc and timber finishes that were part of the original fit-out.
Colour is used to define three zones. The first space is the entrance/bar area which can also be used for casual dining. The middle space allows flexibility in the arrangement and has more acoustic treatment making it perfect for groups. The dropped ceiling is clad in white battens, the wall battens are a deeper green.
The rear section is a more intimate dining area with banquet seating, mirrored and battened walls. It is separated from the kitchen with an acoustically treated screen of red and white – Resene Tall Poppy and Resene Quarter Pearl Lusta.
The ceilings in the first and last space are a custom-mixed deep black tinged with green. The colour helps the exposed ceiling beams and services recede into the background, while creating an illusion of greater height.
There were three key challenges that had to be overcome:
Acoustics – the space was essentially a concrete bunker and the sound quality was poor for fine dining. This led to the architect lining the walls with acoustic panels and timber battens.
Street presence – The restaurant is not readily visible from the street but, when spotted, now looks interesting and inviting. Lymesmith chose Resene Crusoe to complement the brass door handles and other elements. The colour is beautiful and vibrant during both day and night.
Long narrow plan – Colour was used strategically to enhance the impression of height and to create three distinct zones. This had the effect of making the space feel wider and more expansive, rather than long and narrow.
Resene SpaceCote Flat was used on the timber battens, chosen for its ability to produce a quiet and recessive appearance. There are many reflective or metallic surfaces in the restaurant, so it was important that the wall paint finishes did not compete. The front door is full gloss using Resene Enamacryl, which suits the steel construction and helps the shopfront to shine.
Architectural specifier: Plus Minus Design
Building and painting contractor: Hospitality Fitout Specialists
Client: Ned Brooks
Colour selection: Lymesmith
Painting contractor: The Colour Palette
Photographer: Ben Guthrie
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018
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