Propeller + Guild Hall
Propeller and Guild Hall
Patrick Miller, Joe Mathiessen, Tor Dhal
Siobhan Blumann and Gabrielle Scott (Interiors)
222 Queen Victoria Ave North Fremantle
Propeller and Guild Hall are two separate hospitality venues within the site formerly known as the North Fremantle Town Hall. Along with the sensitive nature of working on a State Heritage site, we attempted to locate un-used and underused space within the site to unlock greater potential and avoid working on the main Town Hall building.
Propeller comprises the reuse of the old workshop and unused grounds. The sunken terraces provide the generous outdoor dining spaces and the container cafe allows the restaurant kitchen to be separated from the drinks service zone. Taking its cues from the ever present movement of the nearby wharf, the colours of the stacked sea containers and the sun soaked living of the beach lifestyle in WA.
Guild Hall is an event space venue for those special occasions, tucked into the discreet pocket of the State Heritage listed building. The removal of previous add-ons, opening up the existing rooms and the insertion of a new bar and amenities bring new life to an underused portion of the Town Hall site and its intimate outdoor spaces.
What inspired the design? Where do you look for inspiration?
The design was inspired by the need to avoid dominating the wonderful Town Hall building, unlocking the sites underused spaces and taking cues from the its context with the wharf. There were some subtle interventions to ensure we kept as much of the original buildings as possible. Many people to this day do not know Guild Hall exists beyond those walls, and that Propeller was a junkie hangout.
Can you tell us a bit about the design process?
We tend to work collaboratively with our clients, I'm involved in every meeting, every project from its concept through to completion – it's something I've valued the most in my last 9 years with FINESPUN, I think clients value this too. Everything is hand drawn at the beginning. Sketching is paramount to our work, it helps you really understand a site.
We also tend to not get emotional about our designs but instead provide guidance on the design direction – if we think it's heading in the wrong direction we steer it another way.
What were some of the key materials?
On most of our projects, we tend to steer away from fakery and love natural materials in their honest expression. This helps in decision making as there really is only a few material to choose from, timber, stone, masonry, concrete, metals…. It makes it so much easier in this day of new high-tech materials.
How important is material and colour selection to the project?
We are often asked about our role on these projects, and where the interior design/styling took over. The simple answer to this is wherever there is a fixed element of the project, we designed and documented it, other than that the loose furniture and other paint colours, materials were handled with great skill by Gabrielle Scott and Siobhan Blumann with our input.
What is special about this project?
Adaptive re-use is highly valuable for any community, it breathes new life into old buildings which would otherwise fall to ruin. I commend the owners in taking on such a wonderful project and giving us the opportunity to work on these venues.
How does good design help venues to stand out?
Perth is sophisticated enough now to understand the difference between poor design and good design. Its pretty simple, if a venue has been well considered, with love it comes through in the spatial experience, you want stay. Its all about the feeling. Always.
All images by Dion Robeson
All images by Dion Robeson