Creating a new visual identity for a historic structure can be a fraught business, where a single mis-step can undo centuries worth of architectural legacy and merit. With this top-of-mind, in commissioning local multidisciplinary design practice State of Kin to create the next evolution of The Stables bar in Perth’s CBD, the owners ensured that the end result would be insightful, appropriate and of course, undeniably beautiful.
Perth’s original horse stable building has stood in Hay Street since 1894, witnessing the startling modernisation of the city and having various incarnations including a stint as an electrical parts warehouse. Since its transformation into ‘The Stables’ bar seven years ago, the building has become an important part of the city’s hospitality scene.
Keen to create a smaller and more intimate space within the venue and to open up the façade to the street front, State of Kin was engaged. And as is often the case nowadays, the scope was not to simply redesign the bricks and mortar, but to develop a new brand identity for the venue as well.
“Our clients wanted both the interiors and the branding to establish a new look and design language for the venue whilst referencing the existing bar and the historic character of the buildings,” says Alessandra French, Director at State of Kin. “We referenced original photographs of the façade, then applied our own aesthetic.”
Desirous of a warm, tonal palette that features clean lines and sculptural forms (not uncoincidentally referencing the strength and beauty of the roan form itself), State of Kin were drawn to Fibonacci Stone’s The Sunbaker (but it was a two-horse race between it and Freckle). “We love the Fibonacci Stone range – it provides a really diverse colour spectrum and variety of aggregates to select from that ensure you can find something suitable for any project material, palette and brief. You can select from very delicate, pastel and neutral tones through to very bold, graphic options, which makes it a very accommodating and adaptable solution – also the availability of both slab and tile formats adds a useability factor that is unique,” says Alessandra.
“We were looking for a really consistent, seamless texture for the floor that provided a somewhat graphic element, but also tied the rest of the project materials together. The Sunbaker aggregate features a subdued array of warm brown, orange and yellow tones amongst cooler greys in a clean white base, providing a perfect subtle canvas for our palette, which also featured slabs of quartzite and bronze sheeting.”
“The strength of State of Kin’s design savvy is so apparent in this skilful melding of old and new. It’s never an easy brief to preserve history whilst creating contemporary spaces, particularly in the fast-paced hospitality industry,” says Michael Karakolis, Creative Director of Fibonacci Stone. “State of Kin have created a winning design that draws on the building’s history as well as paying homage to the strength and form of its former equine inhabitants.”
Like all of the products in our range, The Sunbaker is a stocked item, with NO LEAD TIME which means no need to re-select, no project delays or disappointed clients!
Inspired by the raw beauty of the Australian landscape and our unique Antipodean light.
Photography by Jack Lovel