In taking the 1926 heritage building into a sensational new era of hospitality in Manly, the Australian
Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH Group) engaged the services of Cadence Australia, Fugen
Constructions, Altis Architects to create a multi level hospitality venue that not only functions with
operational efficiency, but is also a market leader in interior design and finishes that create a look and
feel appealing to a broad range of customer preferences.
While the beautiful, traditional, revitalised heritage façade of the New Brighton Hotel is in keeping
with the aesthetic of The Corso, the old phrase 'Don't judge a book by its cover' applies as you step
into the state of the art new New Brighton.
A design brief of 'seaside industrial' developed throughout the design and development process with
the requirements that the structure and finishes offer longevity, safety and style to match the coastal
location and the rigours this places on construction and finishes.
The team at Altis architecture, Murray Stewart, Ruth Harris and Derek O'Cearbhaill developed the
"Stripping back and exposing the existing brickwork has revealed the real character of the building
and instead of covering up and concealing the imperfections we have expressed them to allow them
to add to the layering. Each level offers something different to enjoy and experience," said Ruth
Harris, Altis architecture.
The architectural structure is exposed and the materials are raw with new custom feature elements
that stand out distinctly.
From beer reticulation, the introduction of the glass fronted hydraulic elevator, the depth of the
cellar, the gas fired air- conditioning system to the premium audio visual equipment, bar construction,
bathrooms, interior finishes and furnishings the New Brighton has sought creativity and initiative from
all suppliers and trades.
Ruth Harris explained that the bathrooms designed
for the New Brighton add a dramatic space to each level with dark tones and an industrial feel. She
says, "the first 2 floors have a lighter industrial feeling with highlight edge lighting and pops of colours
in the recessed downlights. The use of reconstructed stone and large recessed basins create the
vanities, cubicles and fixtures – furthermore adding to the industrial feeling with metal finishes
contrasting against the wall tiles.
Mr Lem is a durable funky little ottoman brought to us by Myyour, Italy. He has won hearts across Australia with his practical and durable design. Stackable, suitable outdoors and in.
Ruth describes the eclectic mix of materials complimenting each experience to suit the different
levels, "each level has it's own identity created by the feature entrance screens - some with
collections of letters, others a multicoloured shingle wall and the remaining level making reference
back to the metal sheeting of industrial spaces."
"The location of the New Brighton between the Corso and Sydney Rd at Manly has meant that access
is very difficult providing limited space for storage and materials handling. Fully rebuilding the
interior structure while maintaining the stability of the heritage façade has proved to be a significant
challenge," said Project Manager, Greg Le Quesne, Cadence Australia. "The construction process has been intensive, with all the usual challenges of working with an existing
building combined with the restraints of the location requiring a high level of co-ordination and cooperation
from all stakeholders. The design for me is a great blend of old and new, I like the
minimalist approach to the finishes with exposed brickwork and steel columns allowing the 'makers
mark' from the past and present to be seen and felt by the people enjoying the space."
"One of the exciting challenges while re constructing the New Brighton Hotel has been maintaining
the existing façade, Fugen have completely gutted the existing building and have recreated a new
internal structural skeleton to brace the building and support the new additional loads of the
refurbishment," said Stephen Flannery, Managing Director Fugen Constructions. "Another challenge while reconstructing the New Brighton Hotel has been working closely to the
strict delivery time frame of Monday to Friday 7.00am – 11.00am. At 11.00am each day we have to
hand over the Sydney Rd pedestrian Corso back to the precinct. We have managed to carry out crane
lifts and concrete pours in this allocated timeframe following consultation with the Council and
Chamber of Commerce and detailed planning with our suppliers and subcontractors."
To the team at @qubed design The New Brighton Hotel is an infamous iconic Northern Beaches Pub,
very much a part of the local landscape of Manly nightlife.
@qubed design was engaged to match furniture to this very unique interior and to present a variety
of options that were resilient and robust, funky and fashionable, but most of all able to withstand the
elements of nature (sun, rain, wind and sea salt and corrosion) and the patrons who use them.
Sourcing and presenting over 200 furniture pieces, in every different style, material and price range
by a simple process of elimination, the ALH Group and @ qubed design tested out each sample piece of
furniture, assessed the items integrity, construction and aesthetics, and were able to choose fantastic
designer pieces for each floor.
The furniture pieces selected are timeless, that people will talk about, as well as be practical and
comfortable. The third floor roof terrace features two of the first installed Nest Rests in Australia, a
mix of a teepee, day bed, sun lounger these two pieces seat up to eight patrons in laid back
comfort and were craned onto the roof of the property and have b the most sought after positions
on gorgeous sunny days.
Through Altis' design the ground floor reflects a more traditional bar with a contemporary twist in the
use of copper to the bar front which will weather naturally over time which will add another layer of
texture. Introducing bi-fold windows has created an enhanced connection to the outside seating, the
Corso and the ocean.
"The Ground Floor Public Bar has wonderful natural warm textures and colours with old and new design elements," added Michelle Jansen van Rensburg, @ qubed designer. "The furniture is mostly traditional industrial style seating with bright modern outdoor casual dining furniture set against the backdrop of the refurbished heritage façade. The outdoor furniture needed to be bold so we chose a lush lime colour to reflect their sunny position, be durable and light to handle."
Spike Timber Stool
The Spike Timber stool by Stylecraft features a solid timber seat on a four leg powdercoated mild steel frame. The timber seat is available in a variety of finishes and the frame may be powdercoated.
The first floor 33° and balcony is more upmarket and sophisticated with exposed brickwork and
carpet, a black and white theme throughout, and turquoise accents that pick up the aqua of the
ocean. The layout and furnishings make it perfect for couples to find a corner to enjoy their cocktails
in or the space can easily be transformed to hold functions up to 250 people. Furniture here is
contemporary and elegant; with quirkiness to it that sets the tone of fun and frivolity in the room.
"The First Floor Cocktail Bar has more sophisticated and elegant pieces that harmonise with the beautiful interior elements and textures," said Michelle. "Colours are turquoise, black and white to contrast against the exposed brickwork and steel columns. The First Floor Balcony has fantastic ocean views and people watching opportunities with high bar, dining and lounge settings. The Hotel is very fortunate to have been granted approval for this new balcony and we have taken full advantage of it."
The second floor SHARKBAR is more dark and moody, the exposed brickwork continues but this
space also includes some very funky pieces and some custom made pieces that reflect the industrial
seaside brief. Bespoke pieces are set against the exposed brickwork and steel columns and colourful artwork by Caspian de Looze. It’s a city nightclub with a beach attitude. @ qubed design chose funky, quirky and fun pieces for this space.
The third floor ROOF TOP, an outdoor space, has a combination of unique intimate group
seating options as well as open seating areas for smaller groups. The vibe here is Ibiza meets Bali, with
lots of textures, woven rattans, timbers, polypropylenes, pvc rope chairs and stainless steel, all
suitable for the seaside climate and conditions.
The MAC101 is a remarkably small, super light and easy-to-use LED moving head wash light with an amazingly bright beam for such a compact luminaire. It features rapid movement and calibrated colours with a low price tag that allows for revolutionary set, stage and decorative lighting design.
@ qubed design chose statement pieces that have not yet been seen in Australia, to create a visual impact. They specified the beautiful Nest Rest loungers from Dedon, launched at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair. These gorgeous luxurious human bird’s nests perfectly suit the space and are accompanied by lazy double daybeds. These daybeds are upholstered in NSW Extreme Leather, an almost indestructible fabric. The luxury feel is straight out of The Blue Marlin Beach Bar in Ibiza Spain, a favourite holiday destinations. On hot days this Terrace will be the place to chill out. Although the colours here are mostly black and white again, the furniture has a more natural feel to it with textured pieces and innovative materials to withstand the harsh outdoor exposure.
For the New Brighton team, they know that it is not just good looks that make a venue what it is.
People must have the ambience, the sound, the lighting be spot on.
John Malisano from Sydney AV & Electrical says, "the New Brighton Hotel has not been the easiest from a
design point of view due to the layout and ceiling heights, as well as noise restrictions placed on the
venue. However, with these restrictions our team has been able to come up with an AV solution that
will make the venue a cut above the rest but still be able to blend it in with the overall design. It will
cater for all patrons by providing a flexible system using modern technology, whilst still being user
friendly for management and staff."
The effects lighting installation is extremely energy efficient and low maintenance hence the use of a variety of LED fixtures including Martin MAC101 LED moving heads, Pro Shop LED Strips, and Pulsar Chroma LED downlights. Added to that are some Martin MX10 effects lights with all lighting controlled via LCD touch screens on each level providing the venue
with one touch presets to change the visual effect of any room.
John Malisano describes the multi-zone audio system with multiple inputs throughout the venues four levels
as being "designed to have background music available on all levels at anytime, with state of the art
DJ booths and the roof being set up for a soloist or duo to compliment the view from the cocktail
The SHARKBAR night club on level 2 features Martin Audio AQ12 and F12 speakers, backed up by S18 subs. The lounge bar has a Martin Audio FOH system again using the F12 and S18 combination. This level also features high powered Toa ceiling speakers and ceiling subs for BGM.
The basement, ground floor and roof consist of a mixture between Toa ceiling speakers and TurboSound speakers and subs.
Audio control and DSP processing is achieved through Biamp Audiaflex and features the new Red 1 wall controllers.
"An issue we had to overcome was providing a control system to operate over 5 levels incorporating DJ/Band and BGM inputs as well as create a user friendly system for the staff but still provide the flexibility to filter all inputs to all levels," explained John Malisano. "We also had strict limitations on the overall output of the system due to the venue's location which we had to comply with. We did this through speaker selection, location and installation methods as well as DB limiting and EQ adjustments through the processor."
Nightlife provides a range of solutions across the ALH Group. Each venue has a music and media package that caters for the requirements at a local level, with separate zones of content set up where the venue has distinctly different focus for the rooms or areas of the venue.
The New Brighton is one of the most exciting re-developments in the ALH group over the last year. Working with the Operations Manager Lucas Mckay, Venue Manager Andrew Lancaster and Audio Visual Company Sydney AV, Nightlife has commissioned a 3 zone system for background music channels across the venue and a separate DJPro system for the Shark Bar.
Martin Audio AQ12
A two-way passive loudspeaker designed to provide high sound pressure levels from an architecturally friendly, heavily braced vented enclosure. It features a 12" long-throw, direct radiating bass driver with a 2.5"voice coil and a 1" exit compression driver with a 1.7" (43mm) diaphragm, coupled to a true constant directivity HF horn.
The background music zones are programmed to cater for the Public Bar and Bistro, The Cocktail/Rooftop offering and a separate zone for the Gaming Room. The mix of content across these zones draws from a range of influences - with everything from coastal chill through to indie electro.
The DJPro System in Shark Bar provides the New Brighton DJ’s with a powerful video DJing product that brings the room to life from a visual perspective, exploiting the numerous screens around the bar. DJPro includes a massive library of music video, a range of video effects and the ability mix music video and visuals via industry Standard DJ Equipment. At the New Brighton this includes Pioneer CDJ2000’s and a DJM900 mixer where the cross fader not only mixes audio but also controls the transition between video clips. Having Nightlife's DJPro also means the venue and DJs have a shared library of content that can be used to help clarify the music policy of the Shark Bar.
The entire Hotel is fully air-conditioned featuring a state if the art Gas Fired VRF System. This system
will be the first of its size to utilise this technology in a Hotel in the Sydney area. The system is
designed to only provide air conditioning to areas that require it rather than energy wasting old
systems that condition the entire premises even when not required in certain areas.
The fully computerised system will maintain a great climate in this amazing space and will assist in
minimising energy waste.
Installers Active Air Group spokesperson Shane Hardey commented that "the Gas fired component of
this system is incredible – not only is it a first for a unit this size in a Hotel but the reduced electrical
demand to run the air conditioner is up to an 80% reduction. This was a challenging project given the
restricted space for plant and equipment and the air supply area, couple this with a heritage building
and you have a great task. The site is amazing and this Gas fired solution will do nothing less than