Calm, feminine and playful, the CBD’s Swish Coffee Brewers is serving up your morning brew with a serious side of considered design.
With a brief that referenced James Dean and a young Elvis, the outcome for Swish Coffee Brewers was always going to be original. Immediately bringing to mind an effortlessly cool, fresh, yet classic feeling, it was up to the Design Stables collaboration between LAHAUS and Rezen Studio to honour the client’s statement: “We believe in treading our own path.”
Situated at 111 St Georges Terrace on the corner of William Street in the city, Swish really is in the thick of it. With double-height ceilings and full-height frameless glass wrapping around the front of house area, the challenge lay in working with the dramatic space to create an intimate and welcoming atmosphere while maintaining visual accessibility in to the café.
“We played on the retro diner feel in the overall experience of the space,” explains LAHAUS Creative Director, Lara Staunton. “The furniture, lighting, bar design and arches all have playful undertones in their form and style.”
Soft curves throughout the interior, a high-level dusty pink linen curtain, and a pink granite bar top create the perfect feminine balance, while the existing concrete floor was stained a deep plum to contrast with the dark blue pill-shaped bar.
“Christian’s (the client) passion is coffee and we wanted to make this the focus of the space,” Lara says. “So we framed the barista area of the bar with a minimal white steel structure.”
While not the original design or vision of the client, the introduction of a dividing wall to the back of house allows the coffee bar to stand on its own as a sculptural platform, reinforcing the focus on the coffee. Coloured arches and nude dado provide a subtle, playful feature of the backdrop.
Envisioned as a platform and command post for the Swish team to celebrate the act of making and serving, the coffee counter, POS and pastry area were rationalised in to a single element. The bar, crafted by local furniture maker, Remington Matters, supports the casual Italian-style stand up coffee drinking at the end while chatting to the barista or reading the paper.
Filtering the bright light coming in to the space is a high-level dusty pink linen curtain around the top of the full-height glazing, while the polished and deep plum-stained floor grounds the reflective and bright space.
So what are the designer’s favourite aspects?
Lara: “I love the bar’s pink granite benchtop – it’s playful, feminine and sets its own trend. The navy lozenge-shaped bar is the perfect platform for this statement material.”
Zen (Rezen Studio): “The café bar. I love standing at the end with a coffee in hand. The granite top with the curved laminate base reminds me of an Italian cantina and showcases the materials beautifully.”
Remington Matters – furniture and café bar
APCG Flooring – concrete floor finish
Speciality Curtains & COVRD – dusty pink curtain
Menu via LAHAUS – chairs
Styling – Jackie Brown Stylist