Project: Kingsleys Woolloomooloo NSW Australia
Designer: Richards Stanisich, formally SJB interiors Sydney
Client: Dixon Hospitality
Kingsleys in Woolloomooloo has received a brand and restaurant design refresh thanks toSJB. The client developed a human persona for the venue’s brand identity, in the form of Liam Neeson. Richards Stanisich, formally SJB interiors Sydney, was asked to design the restaurant interiors and spatial experience to personify Neeson.
The brief allowed Richards Stanisich to explore a sensory design for the space, drawing on the Neeson character, as well as developing a sense of context and place in response to Kingsleys’ location on the heritage wharf at Woolloomooloo.
The result is an intermingling of references that links the fit-out with the water, the wharf and the client’s brief. “The overall concept was to design an interior which connected into the heritage wharf and worked with the Kingsleys’ brand identity, which has a masculine but inclusive overtone,” says Richards Stanisich Director, Interior Design, Kirsten Stanisich.
“We set about developing some ideas which we thought might evoke the qualities of Liam Neeson. We selected a predominantly metallic and blue palette for the design of the tastefully conservative interior to reflect our interpretation of the public persona of Liam Neeson,” Ms Stanisich says.
When it came to furniture selections, Ms Stanisich worked with Dessein to select chair that would offer functionality, durability and speak to the design vision. “We felt that the Pieman and Parawood chairs reflected these ideas with their refined utilitarian forms and warm timber finishes,” she says.
“Functionality is extremely important with hospitality design. We look for a chair that is relatively light weight but strong, so it can be easily manoeuvred by diners and staff. It needs to connect into the design concept and work with surrounding furniture items. Most importantly it needs to be comfortable.”
Richards Stanisich also acknowledged the direct connection to the water through the re- interpretation of nautical detailing such as sail cloth stitching to dividing fabric screens, low ceilings with ribbed timber panelling, narrow blue stained timber floor boards to mimic boating construction, and the selection of Le Corbusier light fittings which add a utilitarian overtone.
The use of perforated Mini Orb ties Richards Stanisich’s design vision together. This utilitarian material may not be considered ‘on trend’, however Richards Stanisich intended it to be identifiable as belonging to Kingsleys, rather than en-vogue. The material is applied as ribbed panelling, and brings a sense of softness and serenity to the fit-out while also evoking the fair minded masculine qualities synonymous with Neeson.