Located on the buzzing waterfront of Barangaroo Banksii Vermouth Bar and Bistro draws its inspiration from the glasshouses of the 18th Century, the design explores the idea of framing and
cataloguing as a historical homage to the botanist Sir Joseph Banks. The depiction of botanical here is not literal – but rather representational. The glasshouse symbolises protection from the elements and a nurturing environment to live and thrive.
Off white heritage reproduction steel metal work forms the spine of the space defining and separating the dining area from the kitchen. The location of the kitchen allows for the fine display of
vermouth, crockery and the theatre of food creation. The use of frosted wire glass, antique mirror and hand painted steel work here connects us back to the glasshouses of the 18th century.
The dining experience is subtly varied as you move from the external dining and bar seating areas through and into the 80sqm internal space. The refined industrial metal work of the custom iron
banquette seating and the delicate nature of the legs and back rests of the chairs and bar stools compliments the off white heritage reproduction metal work. The upholstered seat cushions
combined with the large relaxed back cushions assist in the creation of a soft and nurturing seating experience. Pastel coloured scatter cushions, custom blue stained plywood table tops and the
antique rosewood pigmented concrete floor provide splashes of colour inspired by the colours found on the bark of a gum tree. As you move through the space to the bar you see the use of black
painted steelwork, a large communal bar height table with generous comfortable bar chairs where you can spend hours tasting the delights of the largest collection of Vermouth in Australia. The bar seating spills out into the side entrance of the restaurant and allows for a more casual experience for after work or lazy Sunday drinking.
Victorian Era something that cannot be reproduced.
As the internal floor space we had to work with was limited the main constraint and challenge within the design process was providing sufficient areas for the storage of kitchen goods, concealing the wash up areas and also generally finding ways to store all items which fundamentally make a restaurant tick. This challenge was overcome with the successful intergeneration of shelving to the front of house within joinery items and full height storage within the kitchen. As the crockery and glassware of the restaurant are quite beautiful items in themselves we had no reservations in putting them on display. The crockery is visible through the frosted wire glass along the kitchen pass and their pastel colours harmonise wonderfully with the internal design scheme. The wash up area has successfully be concealed behind the beautiful antique mirrored glass panelling which so fabulously reflects the internal dining space back onto itself. The use of the antique mirror here is this zone aesthetically and practically separates the bar area from the kitchen.
The wine cool room, open shelving above the bar and large back bar display also puts the restaurants extensive vermouth and wine collection on show from the street as well as from within
the restaurant. The design here at Banksii wholly exemplifies the honest representation of the beauties found within a glasshouse.