Techné Architects, the practice behind some of Melbourne's most
recognisable hospitality developments has waved their creative style
over an old Collingwood favourite The Robert Burns Hotel.
Aptly named after the culturally iconic Scottish poet, The Robert Burns Hotel brings
to Melbourne a Spanish and Scot collaboration that encompasses an authentic
Spanish menu within an architecturally unique setting.
The new owners, Colonial Leisure Group who are renowned for their successful
redevelopment of restaurants and pubs across Melbourne's hospitality landscape
briefed Techné to 'totally refurbish the property while maintaining its essential
character'. With the brief in hand the architects embarked on the unusual dynamic
between Spanish food and Scottish poet.
Techné reestablished the Scottish offering by building on the rich canvas of history
and heritage that the 'Robby' (affectionately referred to by locals) had become known
for. Core materials used in the design were chosen to weather over time and to give
the sense of history and longevity.
Interiors are an ode to patriotism with bold tartan carpet lining the alluring dining
room, met by roughly sawn timber floors laid in a chevron pattern. Existing red
brickwork and timber-lined ceilings were extended throughout, paired with notes of
Spanish influence with picante red leather bar stools, green and white tiles and an
imported taxidermy bulls-head that leers over patrons as they dine.
Understanding the importance of creating a welcoming flow-through effect for this
venue, Techné demolished internal walls between the front bar and dining room. The
dynamic atmosphere of the bar, dining room and beer garden instantly became
evident, collectively bringing the three areas together seamlessly.
Generating more light by installing large windows into the Smith Street façade and a
much-needed beer garden setting was key to the success of the development as
Nick Travers of Techné explains,
"Existing structures to the rear of the property were demolished to make way for a
beer garden space. This was a huge win for the venue. The space previously was
used for rubbish, storage and staff amenities. The courtyard is now the most popular
area for patrons with good sun, bright colour, a pergola structure, potted plants and
Perfectly delivering on its main purpose of totally renewing the venue while
sustaining its essential charm, The Robert Burns wasn't about high design or the
latest trends. To date, the project is just one of several jobs Techné has completed
with CLG over the past couple of years. Others in the portfolio consist of the
redevelopment of The Skinny Dog Hotel in Kew, The Royal on the Waterfront in
Perth and the luxurious Orpheus Island Beach Resort on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Robert Burns Hotel is just one of many under the Techné banner, with their
distinctive designs across hospitality, residential and commercial architecture
becoming highly sought after. Key projects for 2011 include the revolutionary
redevelopment of The Bridge Hotel, The Richmond Club Hotel, The Prahan Hotel,
Lupino Restaurant and Pillar of Salt café.
EGE Highline 910 with CL backing, a tartan pattern starts on the floor and climbs up the wall.
For a few years now Nightlife has been supplying managed music to many venues in the impressive portfolio of the Colonial Leisure Group. One of their more recent requests was to tackle the challenging and eclectic mix required for the Robert Burns Hotel.
The Robert Burns Hotel has always offered patrons a broad mix of music to suit it's rough-yet-polished decor. This is a Spanish restaurant that steers well clear of cheesy themed music! Nightlife's Relationship Manager Ben Wighton worked closely with Venue Manager, Jose Ortega, to design a mix of music that delivers everything from smooth, soulful, beats to chilled out alternative rock to funky remixes and electro tracks. They even found a way to lightly incorporate authentic flamenco throughout the week without spoiling the aural experience into a Spanish caricature. The end result is one that greets all patrons at any time of the day with uplifting music that walks an alternative path, but is never obscure or in any way alienating.
Nightlife's training program and innovative approach to content automation ensures that Jose has just the right amount of control of his ambience, without having to spend too much time at the wheel. This whole package is delivered through a professional audio fit-out from Colonial's AV specialists of choice, Digital Living.
Digital Living's Matthew Price collaborated with Ben to ensure a smooth installation of all equipment and a seamless hand-over to the venue's management. QSC speakers are spread throughout the venue to deliver even coverage supported in the front bar by subs allowing more bass into the crowd.