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Whimsy, theatre, fire and water: Poetica by Cox Architecture

Cox Architecture has brought back to life a Sydney hospitality venue brimming with ghosts of the past – including some notable locals.

Whimsy, theatre, fire and water: Poetica by Cox Architecture

Located in North Sydney, Poetica is now a 120-seat restaurant and 60-person bar. Cox Architecture has worked with client and hospitality provider, Etymon Projects, to bring a distinct sense of elegance, refinement and even touches of whimsy to the space.

The design has been led by Cox director, Brooke Lloyd, who also featured recently as part of Your Moment INDESIGN. Connections across the past and present were key to the project’s success. The venue is soaked in its own history of creativity – past locals include William Blue and Brett Whiteley.

Perhaps the most striking design feature is the curvaceous, pastel bar. At light and heavy, solid yet playful, it’s a focal point, while high-gloss joinery and highly figured marble feature as material flourishes throughout. Elsewhere, however, the palette is decidedly restrained through the use of brushed oak floors, grey granite, concrete and glazed tiles as well as a brick wood grill.

As part of the theatre, an open kitchen takes centre stage amidst the main dining space. Sumptuous displays of meat, fish and wine accompany the space, all with an atmospheric backdrop of cooking taking place over an open flame.

Related: Architects from Cox and elsewhere reflect on WAF 2023

Back at the entrance, meanwhile, a large mural by local artist Kristian Hawker lines the 8-metre-high volume and invites diners to pass a glazed wine display – and build up their appetites – as they move through to the restaurant.

Cox’s project is aimed at the creation of a “timeless clubhouse” for the area – “raw and natural brimming with whimsical moments, theatre, and timeless simplicity,” as the designers describe it.

Colours and materials create a harmonious aesthetic tapestry for visitors to Poetica. The design brings new sophistication to a hospitality hub in North Sydney and follows other stellar interior projects by Cox such as The Charles and even its very own Sydney studio.

Cox Architecture

Anson Smart, Nicole England

We think you might also like this story on hospitality interiors by Cox Architecture at The Charles.

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