The Martini Bar in the Haymarket Hotel is an upmarket, ultra-chic, modern bar. This top of the line bar is very popular, and best known for its stylish drinks and vibrant atmosphere.
The Haymarket Hotel is an iconic Sydney hotel. It’s a former bank, which was turned in to a big, famous hotel with a very strong market image. Everything in this hotel consists of décor from top designers. The hotel is literally a few minutes away from everything in Sydney, and is a much sought-after place to go for a great night out or a fabulous lunch or dinner.
The Martini Bar is one of the Haymarket Hotel’s major attractions. The bar advertises a unique food and drink experience, and backs it up with a very long waiting list for places. It takes 3-4 months to book a place in this bar, which is a good indication of its market reach and status. It’s hard to imagine a more definitive proof of the popularity of the Martini Bar in fussy Sydney, which has a lot of top quality bars around the city.
The Martini Bar isn’t huge. It has a maximum capacity of 120 people, but every square centimetre of the bar is an aesthetic adventure in fabulous food, fun and the Martini Bar’s one of a kind drinks. The bar is also a highly functional space, with a combination of bar and entertainment spaces, seating, and floor traffic space demands for clientele.
When design firm Girvan Waugh was selected for the job of redesigning the Martini Bar, it was going to be a real challenge in interior design and construction. This is the sort of design job that professional interior designers love. The Martini Bar has it all – a famous bar, a fantastic venue, and superb setting for great design. That said, the Martini Bar is no ordinary bar. It has a high public profile, a popular entertainment area, and a clientele to match that profile.
Because of the above, creating a new design was very much a matter of meeting high design expectations. That wasn’t going to be easy, for a range of very good reasons.
The Martini Bar design needs were absolutely unequivocal:
- Excellent presentation and décor values to meet the demands of one of Sydney’s most popular and elegant bars. In the case of the Martini Bar, this was a top priority. Good presentation creates a fun, lively environment for patrons. The task was to deliver a design at better than the market standards and a good working design for the bar environment.
- A very practical design for a bar which receives almost literally endless usage by patrons for 7 days a week. Public spaces take a lot of wear and tear, and when the design space is a top upmarket bar, it’s essential to take the high wear factor in to account in the design.
- Excellent aesthetics, including a strong design presence and motif to create a fabulous new look for the Martini Bar. The Haymarket Hotel is very well known for its style, charm, and exceptional “top of the market” image. That factor alone raised the bar for the new design to the very highest standards.
- Practical use of space in this very high value commercial environment. The Martini Bar is essentially a food, drinks and entertainment environment. These factors in the design meant that designers would have to focus strongly on an upmarket design which also delivered good functional values and the proper amenities for the Martini Bar.
For the designers, these very unambiguous needs equated to a whole series of must-do issues. Girvan Waugh examined the setting carefully, factoring in all of the above issues.
The next step was defining and selecting the appropriate materials for the new design. The choice of top quality Euro Natural Stone European marble for the Martini Bar was a natural selection.
The choice of marble was based on its proven value as a high status aesthetic design material, its practical functionality, and its value as an environmental design. This exceptionally fine European marble is widely used in upmarket environments for its stunning texture and beauty. Marble offers a dazzling range of aesthetic options, from the beautiful and colourful marbles to top of the line, pure white Carrara marble.
Marble surfaces offer a range of impeccably elegant aesthetics for any space. If you explore the latest top quality marbles, you’ll find an almost baffling range of choices. You can choose between the stunningly vibrant tones and colours of Black Tiger marble, the famous filigrees of Rosso Levanto marble, and the almost surreal, otherworldly veins and grains of lighter marbles of all types.
There was also a very practical reason for choosing marble for the Martini Bar. Designers, builders, and architects consider marble facings to be excellent long term surfaces in public spaces. Marble is also a very dependable and functional choice for high traffic, high usage environments. Marble is a very reliable stone for public spaces too. It’s tough, resilient, and requires little or no maintenance over its product life.
A cut marble panel is extremely robust in any role. Marble is a hard stone, with astonishing durability and almost completely immune to any sort of damage. Marble is highly impact-resistant, doesn’t scuff at all to any significant degree, and can survive decades, or even centuries, of use and still look brilliantly new and fresh.
The environmental design choice was based on the need to create a vibrant entertainment space. Natural stone is often used in what is basically a primary environmental role for public areas. A natural stone setting creates its own design motif. The use of marble in the entertainment area would deliver a fun, friendly, inviting look for patrons.
Designers Girvan Waugh decided on Norse Grey, a dark marble with lighter veins for the upper bar counter. This richly grained marble is a true work of art in its own right. It has a wonderful reciprocal mix of light and dark veins, a true picture of pure elegance.
This selection acts as both a built-in contrast and a strong aesthetic feature, perfect for the Martini Bar’s excellent lighting. The rich, deep dark contrasts perfectly with the lighter veins, adding a visual dynamic which is unique to marble.
Euro Natural Stone was chosen to supply, fabricate, and install the marble features for the Martini Bar. Euro Natural Stone is a leading marble supplier in Sydney, with a truly vast range of marble choices. The company’s expert stone masons have worked on many prestigious projects with Girvan Waugh, and many demanding designs.
Cutting and fabricating the high precision Norse Grey marble was labour of love for the Euro Natural Stone team. Every design has its critical moments, and the work proceeded with the utmost care, fitting the fabulous new marble slabs to the walls and counter.
The environmental design choice of marble was fully vindicated on site. Natural stone is often used in what is basically a primary environmental role for public areas. A natural stone setting creates its own design motif. The use of marble in the entertainment area delivers a fun, friendly, inviting look for patrons in the dining, bar, and entertainment areas.
The choice of marble was also related to lighting needs. Marble, which has a naturally low light absorption, delivers a superior form of friendly, inviting reflected light. Marble doesn’t reflect glare at all, but provides a softer, more ambient type of reflected light. The dark marbles also reduce reflected light. The Norse Grey marble was perfect for the Martini Bar.
For the back of the bar wall, the design choice was for a light, fine-textured marble with strong grains, backlit to highlight the Martini Bar’s drinks. The back wall is further reinforced by darker marble panels on each side, matching the bar counter. A good design will always deliver a great visual effect.
You can see the results here. The Martini Bar was reopened with the Haymarket Hotel’s customary panache, and the new design has been a great success with patrons. A tough design task turned in to a triumph of beautiful stone in a famous Sydney night spot. Mission accomplished!
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