Melbourne-based architectural firm, Bates Smart‘s latest addition to the Sydney hotel and restaurant scene celebrates the local maritime history of one of the city’s best waterfront locations. Pier One Hotel’s revamped public spaces offer a compelling mix of original features and contemporary luxury against the backdrop of the abundant natural beauty of Sydney Harbour.
Located on the Pier One finger-wharf, Bates Smart has drawn on the architectural language of the pier to create a sympathetic overlay that works with the inherent character of the existing architecture.
“We took the elements and forms we saw on the pier and embedded those details into the design,” says Brenton Smith, studio director of interior design, Bates Smart.
In the lobby, the rawness of the reclaimed timber wall cladding echoes the timber outside on the pier. These authentic features contrast with more luxurious materials, such as the polished stone floor with a hint of gold that creates a sense of grandeur in the lobby.
This choice of rich materials is also part of Bates Smart’s strategy to activate and connect the previously separate public spaces and draw guests through into the bar and dining area. The bar has been relocated front-and-centre to become the central hub of the ground floor lobby.
“The space now invites patrons to become part of the activity at the bar and restaurant as they enter the hotel,” adds Brenton. “The private dining room is also transparent, and can be seen from the restaurant and bar – it’s an exclusive space designed for patrons to see and be seen.”
The atmosphere is one of casual elegance, with a club-like warmth that welcomes guests and encourages them to sink into a lounge and enjoy the sunset. The bar and restaurant opens up to the pier allowing guests to feel connected to the activity on the harbour.
The bar itself is the striking centerpiece of the space. The zinc-finished top of the bar is a rustic counterbalance to the polished marble front. A specially-designed frame for the glassware crowns the bar, along with custom-made, boat-shaped lights. This focus on bespoke fittings is part of Bates Smart unique approach to hospitality design.
The bathrooms maintain this stylish air, complete with custom-designed Pietra Gris marble vanity units with aged bronze patina finish mounted basins.
“We like to go outside of the standard specifications and source fittings that haven’t been seen in Sydney before – be they bespoke designs, or something from a top international supplier,” says Brenton.
“It was important for the public areas to be as approachable and welcoming to guests in the morning as in the evening.
“It is notoriously difficult to get spaces to work all day and all night. We worked hard to make sure patrons will feel as comfortable having their coffee and eggs for breakfast at the bar, as they will sipping a martini at midnight,” says Brenton.