2017 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Bar Design winner

Best Bar Design The Dolphin Hotel by George Livissianis Surry Hills, New South Wales

Jury comment

The Dolphin Hotel is a treat. Both temporary and permanent, anarchic and cogent, this bar interior balances diametric opposites in exquisite tension. Originally a series of rooms for a series of art projects, the spaces work seamlessly together, united by a light-coloured palette. The Dolphin Hotel is successful both day and night, an achievement that is unusual in itself. The effect of the interior has been achieved in an economical and parsimonious way, and the overall impression is of an interior that doesn’t take itself or anything too seriously. Perhaps one of the most important outcomes of the creation of The Dolphin Hotel is that it has inserted itself provocatively into the conversation about Sydney’s lockout laws, as the temporary pop-up that stayed put. Imbued with underlying warmth, it is the ideal place to spend an entire afternoon, rolling merrily on into night. The ultimate success of The Dolphin Hotel is that it marries whimsy and discipline, and the result is outstanding.

Design statement

The Dolphin Hotel has three individual spaces: a public bar, dining room and wine room. The client, Maurice Terzini, and his team have built on the iconic venue’s heritage, adding an exciting new layer to its history by repurposing and transforming the space. The Dolphin Hotel challenged the notion of what a pub is. The brief was initially to design a pop-up and the designers adapted this way of thinking through the project, even though the solution is a more permanent one. The design team gave the artists Beni Single and Tracey Deep freedom of expression within parameters that helped realize and shape the direction of the overall space. The collaboration between the designers, client, artists and installers led to the greater outcome. It’s not on trend; it’s inventive, it’s different. It’s a new approach, using cost-effective materials in new and alternate ways that create curiosity. The approach forces us to revisit the space so its evolutionary – we are continually there to add, change, shift or rethink areas to create an ever-changing, evolving experience.

The Dolphin Hotel
412 Crown Street
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

George Livissianis
35 Glenmore Road
Paddington NSW 2021
+61 2 9361 6685

See the whole gallery of images at the Eat Drink Design Awards website.

The 2017 Eat Drink Design Awards are organized by Architecture Media and AGM Publishing and supported by principal partner Taubmans; major partners Planned Cover and Shadowfax Wines; and supporting partners Tait, Stellar Works, Map, Schiavello, Laminex and Latitude.

Thanks also to our event partners Sample, Four Pillars Gin and Sanpellegrino.

The Eat Drink Design Awards are endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Design Institute of Australia.



Published online: 14 Nov 2017
Images: Tom Ferguson


Artichoke, December 2017

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