Designed as an exquisite Chinoiserie jewel box, stepping into the Teahouse at Crown Sydney, by Bates Smart, is a luxurious experiential journey like no other.
September 27th, 2021
Designed by Bates Smart, Teahouse Crown Sydney opened in May of this year and, located at Barangaroo, the views of Sydney Harbour create a backdrop of endless sky and calming water to complement the opulent interior.
Everything about Teahouse is sumptuous and this is theatre at its finest. Textures and colours abound with material layering and attention to every detail contributing to the creative vision. As masters of hospitality design, Bates Smart is accustomed to delivering original and beautiful projects however, with Teahouse, their vision is incomparable.
“It shows an absolute attention to detail resolution and meticulous crafting to understand the materiality and, in this instance, a theatrical interior. It transports you to another place, it’s beautiful, it’s an escapist experience,” comments Jeff Copolov, director at Bates Smart.
Referencing the grand design of the Chinese Imperial style of the 19th century, the 353 square metre interior of Teahouse features embroidered silk fabrics, gilded and embossed wallpapers, bespoke carpets and plush velvets on soft furnishings as well as custom-designed lighting.
Teahouse seats 60 patrons and the interior opens to a generous outdoor terrace for another 24. The floorplan of Teahouse is triangular and upon entering there is a walkway with a flickering lantern wall that sets the scene for the interior. At the right is the bar and ahead and to the left are seating groupings with four tented pavilions or bird cages, on the right. Three of the birdcages are circular, while a fourth has been elongated to cater for a larger crowd. These semiprivate pods feature exposed timber ribs, built-in banquettes, richly embroidered fabric wall linings and bespoke pendant light fixtures to create another more ethereal world.
Shapes and forms are drawn from the oriental patternbook, for example, the bar has been created with a panelled façade that references Chinese lacquer work and back of bar features pagoda inspired cabinetry with wallpaper and backlit shelving. The sumptuous lounge chairs in front of the bar are dramatic in vivid pink and appear as individual jewels as they sit on the unique, luxurious ‘tapestry’ of the magenta carpet.
Overhead is a decorative custom-designed and -made panelled ceiling that incorporates oriental patternmaking and presents rather like shingles. The panels conceal services and fixtures but also contribute to the atmosphere and overall design.
Lighting design is sophisticated, with floor and table lamps, downlights, wall sconces and custom pendants that guide the eye to curate the interior and help translate the atmosphere from day to night.
The jewel-like colour palette simultaneously complements and challenges, with accents of magenta, violets, plum, fuchsia pink and peacock blue a striking contrast to the rustic masonry lantern wall, bespoke timber screens on windows that face the Harbour and distressed charcoal timber column linings.
Jan Eastwood Project lead, says, “I feel that we achieved what we set out to do. Teahouse is joyful, uplifting and it’s immersive. When you’re in the space, you are transported, and cocooned as well, enveloped in a space that is highly detailed and finely resolved.”
Teahouse is fabulous, what a place to sip a cocktail! This concept sets the scene for an experience like no other with an interior that is textural and tactile and exceptionally beautiful.
The team at Bates Smart – Copolov, Eastwood and Javette Hamilton, Project Delivery Leader – have together created a destination that emulates a bygone era updated for today. It’s sumptuous yet inviting and once we can all leave home again it has to be the first bar to visit on the very long list.
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