When Techne Architecture + Interior Design was given the brief to convert a South Wharf goods shed into Melbourne’s first bustling bierhaus, the Munich Brauhaus, the challenge was clear: to design a space that can pack 900 beer-lovers into what is essentially a large warehouse, while maintaining a contemporary, fresh design.
In order to achieve this, the design team split the cavernous space into a number of areas, including a large dining hall, Jager Bar and Wunder Bar, with a mezzanine floor and private function room providing more private, quieter zones. Timber is used extensively and creatively, with major joinery elements in a pale American Ash that creates a refined, bleached finish.
The trick was to create a design that was German, without becoming kitsch. “The temptation to reflect the orchestrated colour and informal pomp of traditional Bavarian beer halls was definitely present,” says Giles Freeman from Techne.
“We countered by breaking the space into zones, as if each bar, beer hall and dining area was a room. The expressed geometry of the mezzanine helps tie the design into the overtly austere truss and frame design of the existing customs shed. This allows a festively lit and furnished design to exist at ground level, its level of expressive kitsch tied to a recessive but purposeful bounding structure.”
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