Danny Venlet - PUBLIC SPACES

BURDEKIN BAR (1990, Sydney, Australia)

BURDEKIN BARBURDEKIN BAR 1990. Sydney, Australia. No longer existing. Originally designed in 1840, the Burdekin hotel was housed in a historical landmark, at the gateway to Sydneyâ??s Oxford Street. On a continent where a building of this age is already considered to be extremely old, but that was hardly familiar with the idea of preservation of monuments, Venlet restaured as much as possible the remarkable triangular outline, spaciousness and decorations that dated from the buildingâ??s origin. The same respect for the buildingâ??s history was at the origin of several new interventions and designs for the hotels public spaces or â??function roomsâ?? that were at the same time radically contemporary in materials, look, and style, introducing a curvy minimalism that would also remain essential to this later work, with forms that seemed to radiate from the existing columns and that also echoed the art deco windows and ceiling. One of the main elements was a bar counter, built from several moulded and identical fibreglass sections, and bolted together under a laminated wooden top - its concave form being counterposed by a remarkable series of maroon and leather-covered stools that had the shape of a punchball, and that would survive the intervention, remaining a highlight in Venletâ??s collection. The widely published project was immediately hailed as â??creating a new tradition in Australian barsâ??, but unfortunately this new monument and ode to Australiaâ??s history has not survived the next decades itself. Design team: Danny Venlet, Marc Newson, Tina Engelen and Rowena Marsh

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