In a few short months, Barangaroo House has become an instantly recognisable architectural landmark. Lend Lease’s new harbourside suburb is dominated by monolithic blocks of concrete and steel, so to encounter the seductively-curved burnt timber facade of Barangaroo House is to double take — it’s like seeing a Chanel gown in a rack of business suits.
The venue looks out across Darling Harbour to the west. A boardwalk takes a steady stream of pedestrian traffic past, while a nearby ferry wharf brings office workers and tourists to Barangaroo House’s doorstep.
Barangaroo House is the new jewel in the crown of prominent restaurant and pub operator, Solotel. Three venues occupy the three levels of the building: the 300-seat House Bar on the ground floor, Matt Moran’s signature 200-seat Bea Restaurant upstairs and the 250-seat Smoke rooftop bar.
H&E Architects worked with interior designer Emilie Delalande of Etic to create the ultimate Sydney hospitality venue.
“This is a venue that’s as much about the outdoors as it is about the indoors,” observes Christopher Grinham, Director H&E Architects. “On many days, as much as 80 percent of the patronage will be sitting outside.”
“The desire was to create a seamless connection between the indoors and the outdoors,” notes Emilie Delalande. “For example we use the same flooring inside and out, and both share much of the same furniture. We’ve got big frameless windows and doors and the ceiling is also a continuation of what’s happening outside. People sitting outside aren’t looking inside thinking their missing out on something of the experience.
“The Bromic heaters are a really good solution because they’re almost invisible but they’re really doing their job and really contributing to the comfort of people sitting outside when it’s cooler.”
Christopher Grinham continues: “Bromic also gave us the technical assistance we needed with respect to the design and the integration of the heating into what is a tricky building — installing heaters near timber is never easy; getting big heaters next to big sheets of glass is even harder! They gave us everything we needed to make it happen.”
Solotel COO, Justine Baker, is very satisfied with the result: “Sydney is incredible when the sun is out and there’s no wind. We can have every door open and we have our awnings out for shade. It feels fabulous. But Sydney also has days that aren’t perfect and it was about making people feel comfortable during cooler nights outside. The Bromic heaters are great and work well with the outside awnings that trap the heat.”
At one point 42 Solotel staff members were working feverishly on the opening of the venue smack bang in the middle of the 2017 Christmas season. Justine Baker reflects on the challenge with a mixture of satisfaction and relief: “It’s the biggest project Solotel has done and we were all very passionate about what were were delivering. It was hard work but a joy.”
- On May 25, 2018