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2018 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Bar Design

Best Bar Design Malt and Juniper by Sans-Arc Studio Adelaide, South Australia

Jury comment

Malt & Juniper is a small Adelaide bar that maximizes a compact space and tight budget through a cohesive vision expressed in considered details. Even as the jury assessed and appreciated the design elements – the rich wood playing off the green marble, the textured concrete, the chamfer on the end of the banquette – it was a compelling feeling that “we want to be there” that made Malt & Juniper such a strong candidate. Though intimate, the space feels convivial and a pleasing interplay of expanse and cosiness is expressed, for example, in the theatre of a sliding bar ladder that creates verticality or the secluded high-backed booths. A sense of welcome is crucial to successful bar design and the jury felt a friendly feel would persist whether the bar was populated or quiet. Overall, the elements join, flow and balance, resolving in a venue of character and presence.

Design statement

The menu is based around two spirits – whisky and gin – and their base botanicals were used to form the name of the venue and to inspire a botanical yet classic cocktail bar aesthetic. Within the space the mixing of drinks takes centrestage. The large back bar, stocked with liquor and plants, creates a rich, visually dense backdrop for a simple, green marble bar, which acts as a stage of sorts. This idea of drink-making as theatre is expanded by a four-metre-high ladder that slides along the back bar, where bartenders run up and down the ladder all evening, accentuating the height and creating a vertical axis within the space. The bar is contrasted and surrounded by secluded booth seating. With a high back and deep seat, these booths are spaces you can sink into, where intimate conversations can take place and a quality, slow drink can be had.

Malt & Juniper
18 Peel Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Sans-Arc Studio
Project team: Matiya Marovich, Sam Cooper

2 Mannallack Street
Brunswick Vic 3056
+61 3 8578 6795

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

The 2018 Eat Drink Design Awards are organized by Architecture Media and supported by major partner Shadowfax Wines; supporting partners Euro Cave, Laminex, Latitude, Ownworld, Planned Cover, Roca, Schiavello, Tait; and event partners Four Pillars, Sample and San Pellegrino.

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



Published online: 13 Nov 2018
Images: Brendan Homan


Artichoke, December 2018

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