2019 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Bar Design

Blacksmith Lake Mulwala by The Stella Collective

Jury comment

There is a beautiful simplicity to the design of Blacksmith in Mulwala, New South Wales, and a sophistication that is all the more exciting given the venue’s regional location. The proportions of the indoor/outdoor space are well controlled, with the palette and materials showing incredible restraint and elegance. This restraint allows the few pops of whimsy to have a greater impact: vintage-style pink patio umbrellas might get lost in a busier design, but here they evoke
1970s Southern California without devolving into cliche. There’s a flexibility to the multiple spaces and configurations that is quite clever, and the designers specifically worked to create a plan that might easily expand as the business grows. It is especially impressive that Mulwala’s pre-existing mid-century buildings were taken into consideration – the project is designed to blend in with its neighbours while simultaneously providing the town with something new and fresh.

Design statement

The client, through the love of their country region, wanted to create a building, space and ethos that shone brightly. The outcome is a serene modernist building that successfully merges the country past of Lake Mulwala into a utopian present-day palace. Guests step off their boats onto the green shores, welcomed by incredible wine and cheese from the surrounding countryside. The seasonal nature of the town presented the challenge to design a flexible, multi-use venue that held its own over the winter months and created interest from a different perspective. The design team created a space that celebrates each season by seamlessly balancing summer and winter palettes of soft dry-pressed brick and warm walnut timbers, separating zones for functions and family gatherings, and impeccably planning the site strategically to achieve maximum occupancy. And, most importantly, the land is future-proofed for further development as the business grows.

Blacksmith Lake Mulwala
84 Melbourne Street
Mulwala, NSW

The Stella Collective
Project team: Hana Hakim
Studio 01A
249–251 Chapel Street
Prahran, Vic

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

The 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards are organized by Architecture Media and supported by major partner Chandon Australia; supporting partners Harbour, Latitude, Ownworld, Roca and Tasmanian Timber and event partner Four Pillars Gin, Jetty Road Brewery and S.Pellegrino.

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

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