Inspired by distance to make one feel at home, the traditional Aussie beachside boozer iS TURNED on its head at The Bay Hotel Mornington.
Mornington is best known for its bright beach adoring lifestyle. Studio Y.’s latest saw them break that mould and bring back to life the one of the main street’s most incredible buildings – a former Bank built in 1889.
After years of neglect and some eye-raising reincarnations, the Irish client spoke nostalgically of the pubs back home feeling warm, layered with eclectic findings, cosy disappearing nooks and that sense of inviting belonging and togetherness.
In creating a traditional-feeling pub interior, originality was the key by revealing the true bones of the building. The impressive façade, original bricks, timber flooring, high ceilings, fireplaces, and ground floor ceiling beams were all nurtured and boldly caressed with robust and hearty, timber, brick, marble and weathered leather.
The deep warm timbers and rich shiraz tones are prominent throughout with the visually arresting shiraz ceiling bleeding down the walls. The specialty paint finishes by Scanlan and Makers are so naturally immersed within the space one would believe they were from the original structure itself.
In thoughtful tribute to the trades of the times, traditional layers such as tessellated floor tiles, gold leafing signage and custom lead light windows were added – trades that are almost extinct themselves in the modern age of design.
“The lighting design from ambience played on the atmosphere of an old European pub, highlighting the warmth of the materials but also the high-quality fare on offer.”
This was perfectly balanced with contemporary twists through paring back meticulously considered details – it is a local after all. The artisan craftsmanship in joinery – from Mic Projects was designed to mimic furniture from the 1900s with multiple drawers and pigeon holes inspired by those found bank vaults of the times.
Conjuring up notions of childhood fantasies, a hole was cut in the existing brick wall to reveal the long-encrypted bank vault. When stripping back on sites you’re faced with the unknown – surprise columns, fireplaces, and the occasional animal. A vault is a new enchantment to revel secrets – alas the money had long gone but the space was beautifully revitalised into a charming private 6-seater nook.
The lighting design played on the atmosphere of an old European pub, highlighting the warmth of the materials but also the high-quality fare on offer. In a footprint focus, a minimal amount of fittings were called upon (including reclaimed fixtures) to only have light where it was required. Prime consideration was made to ensure colour temperature consistency across the venue.
The attention to detail was also paramount outside. With space at a premium outdoor – collaborating with Tuckbox Design – custom outdoor tables and chairs were thoughtfully crafted to make the absolute most of the space. The hidden beauty of this venue is the ability to transform from day to night mixed with the displayed in the finer details of the timber joinery from the custom profiles on the bar top to the bespoke tables bases to the booth seats.
The result sees the returning of a piece of history to the community, with a heart-warming sense of appreciation from the locals. With the old their new favourite – and many unsurprisingly curious about wanting to make double sure there was nothing left in that vault.