Until recently, colour seemed to have disappeared from bars, restaurants and offices across the city. Now, Adelaide is experiencing a return of vibrant interiors and façades that help create richer, energetic and more dynamic experiences around the city. Here are five key local projects – some new, some not – that showcase colour at its best.
L E V E L O N E , E L E C T R A H O U S E
King William Street The designers of the recently opened Level One (formerly Olea Restaurant) were brave in their approach to colour. Featuring a solid cerulean blue painted floor and walls, with dusty pink and muted apricot accents, the interior is a study in colour blocking. The custom colours were specially created for the interior. Dave Bickmore, co-director of Studio-Gram (the practice responsible for the colourful fitout) says that they “didn’t want to overcomplicate things, but create a visual statement that represented the ethos of the new restaurant which is to be fun, innovative and surprising.”
A F R I C O L A
East Terrace Well-known South African-inspired bar and restaurant Africola is a spectrum of colour. Infused with electric blues, coral, mustard and jade green, it is a worldly mix of hues, as part of an overall art and design strategy between James Brown and Dom Roberts of MASH and Dave Bickmore and Graham Charbonneau from Studio-Gram.
P E O P L E ’ S C H O I C E C R E D I T U N I O N
Flinders Street The People’s Choice Headquarters project (completed in late 2015 by Woods Bagot) is a lively work place, which utilises a youthful colour palette and material scheme to infuse the spaces with a sense of play. The o ffice occupies f ive f loors and 8,200 square metres of work space (including a large staff café and rooftop terrace located on level 13), parent’s room, re lection room and large kitchen areas. Each f loor has satellite kitchens for sta ff to access with comfortable ‘breakout’ areas for relaxation. The lightness created makes the spaces feel friendly, casual and social. People’s Choice CEO Steve Laidlaw says “companies that have implemented activity-based working environments have reported an increase in sta ff engagement, improved culture, staff retention and productivity”. Woods Bagot Principal, and interior designer, Rosina Di Maria says the hubs are “very brightly finished and they also have a di fferent theme so you have a sense of orientation for the worker”. “Key areas have speci fic colour strategies and design philosophies behind them to create a sense of belonging and enrich the space,” she says.
F L I N D E R S U N I V E R S I T Y P L A Z A A N D S T U D E N T H U B
Flinders University The new Flinders University Student Hub is a stunning example of the strength that can come from bold colour choices. Utilising a bright and airy architectural form; citrus yellow, magenta, coral and sky blue feature throughout, and large geometric murals and coloured seating clusters add distinct visual appeal to the spaces to create an incredibly warm and rousing spatial feature. It is reassuring to see the use of colour within these hospitality, education and public spaces reemerging with our city, expressing the vibrancy that exists within the state’s expanding design industry and its presence in our everyday lives.
T H E R U N D L E L A N T E R N
Corner Pulteney and Rundle streets Launched in 2008, the Rundle Lantern is a major initiative of Adelaide City Council, and is located on the Rundle Street UPark, on the corner of Pulteney and Rundle streets in the city’s East End. Not only a visually dynamic and colourful landmark within the CBD, the Lantern is 100 percent solar-powered and is carbon neutral. Over the years, artists and designers have been engaged to create visual content for the light show that operates every night. As an architectural structure, it provides a strong and constantly evolving injection of colour into the otherwise neutral facade of the parking structure area, and o ffers some vitality to the heart of the shopping and dining precinct. Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap, David Sievers, Peter Barnes, Don Bryce