Latest Industry Updates
Venue Architecture and Interior Design: The Dos and Don’ts

Venue Architecture and Interior Design: The Dos and Don’ts

Opening a new venue or thinking about refurbishing? Here, Jeremy Bull, principal of Alexander & Co., reveals some of the unforeseen challenges his clients experience when wanting to change a building’s architecture or interior design and how to best manage such a project.

Alexander & Co. is one of Sydney’s leading architecture and interior design agencies and has worked with hospitality businesses including the East Village Hotel, The Sheaf, Opera bar, Surly’s, Sean’s Kitchen, The Morrison Bay & Oyster Room and Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Jeremy and his team also have experience in styling, branding and master planning.

DO

GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME

Clients of commercial projects are often in a hurry to get the job done, but these types of projects take time, especially if you require a council approval or if your venue requires a Change of Use Development Application. To avoid the myriad of pitfalls that occur when rushing a job, ensure that you have a sufficient and well-planned timeline that allows for the complexities of your project.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONSULTANT TEAM

Assembling the right consultant team is critical. Every property and project will have specific variables and it is essential that the operator proceeds to their local council or tender with a sufficient and experienced sub-consultant team. These consultants could include BCA (Building Code of Australia), DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), fire, acoustic, structural, hydraulic and kitchen.

PLAN FOR THE BEST OUTCOME

Operators can often be attached to components within an existing venue. However, it is important to let the consultant team design the best case outcome and not be hindered by what may otherwise be items of little or no material value.

PLAY TO THE VENUE’S EXISTING STRENGTHS

When commencing a fit-out or refurbishment, it is very important to tell a story that uses the building or area’s inherent strengths. The success of a venue relies on the believability of the offering.

MAKE SURE THE FIT-OUT OF YOUR VENUE MATCHES THE STORY BEHIND THE FOOD, PLACE AND BRAND

The fit-out is a small part of the total story that needs to be told by the operator. It is critical that all parts of the brand are communicating the same intent.

DON’T

UNDER PLAN YOUR STRATEGY

Complex commercial projects are just that... complex! They can require highly resolved strategies, especially when dealing with the council or compliance issues within an existing building.

OVERLOOK EXISTING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE VENUE

An efficient and experienced architectural and consultant team will always forensically gather knowledge about the existing structure and services of a building. When the building fabric can’t be seen and is dilapidated it may constitute significant latent costs during construction.

THINK YOU CAN GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING

Quality construction is expensive and a consultant team is usually around 20 per cent of the construction cost. Either initially spend the money to create a well-planned and properly detailed project or spend time and money fixing it later.

UNDER ESTIMATE THE BENEFITS OF MEETING WITH YOUR DESIGNER REGULARLY

An effective project relies on highly effective communication between your appointed architectural practice team. Be respectful that it is a process and can often require patience, passion and trust from everyone involved.

BE SURPRISED BY HOW CHALLENGING YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL MIGHT BE

Council interests can be complex as they represent the greater community as a stakeholder. They are often complex organisations with their own social and political structures, which may often have little to do with your project but could have a major impact on it. 

Image: Sean's Kitchen

Share the News