By Stefanie Collins, editor bars&clubs
The 2015 Eat Drink Design Awards were announced on 17 November after a record number of entries were received for the fourth year.
The hotly contested Best Bar Design Award was taken out by South Melbourne bar Smalls, which was created by the multitalented Jess Ho – the ex-Time Out bar reviewer, Chin Chin media manager and Restaurant Revolution reality show judge. The transformed garage space is located in Yarra Place, next to St Ali café and was designed by Fiona Lynch Office.
According to the judges, the tiny 24-seater space is “a very welcome addition to the local bar scene” that “whispers in a husky Belgian accent of its European aesthetic roots”. With handmade ceramic tiles cladding the bar, leather hide wall coverings, open joined banquettes, herringbone parquet and Carrara marble tabletops, it is clear that the design absolutely blew the judging panel away.
The competition was fierce however, with Queensland and Victoria leading the pack in terms of bar design. In the category commendations were also given to: Coppersmith Hotel, by HASSELL, VIC; Bond Lounge, by Hachem, VIC; Maker, by ME, QLD; Heya Bar, by Surroundings, QLD; Hennessy Lounge, by Bates Smart, SA; and Heart Attack and Vine Café, by Nicky Adams in collaboration with Perarchitects, VIC.
In addition, Icebergs by Lazzarini Pickering was inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame, in recognition of its enduring influence in design and its position in the Australian culinary landscape, following its opening in 2002.
“I have always described the Icebergs design as my love letter to Sydney,” says Carl Pickering, one half of Rome-based practice Lazzarini Pickering.
The annual awards program recognises Australia and New Zealand’s design achievements in six categories; Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Café Design, Best Temporary Design, Best Retail Design and Best Identity Design.
The jury for the 2015 Eat-Drink-Design Awards comprised: Karen Martini, chef, TV personality and restaurateur; Pascale Gomes-McNabb, architect, Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design; Stephen Todd, Australian Financial Review design editor; Stuart Krelle, interior designer, Luchetti Krelle; and Cameron Bruhn, editorial director Architecture Media.