Winner of the category Best Use of Timber Veneers in the latest Australian Timber Design Awards is Sydney’s Grain bar, located on George Street. The award is sponsored by the Timber Veneer Association of Australia (TVAA) and the judges were impressed by the high standard of entries. The Grain bar was selected from a group of five finalists, all of which feature wood veneers used in striking ways.
The design of Grain transcends the usual boundaries of interior design and takes it to a level where the interior is a work of art in itself. The team at Dreamtime Australia Design describe Grain as an “artisan” bar, by which they mean many of the interior fittings are hand-made, commissioned works.
These include a floor to ceiling wall panel of New Guinea rosewood which sits behind a custom-designed Tasmanian oak table. The oversized entry doors were hand-made and feature a patchwork of different Australian hardwoods.
Walls are clad in American cherry veneer, adding a subtle shade of red. One wall has a back-lit section of laser-cut perforations which allow the veneer to glow, bringing out its natural red colouring.
A stunning island fireplace is clad in vavona burl veneer (another name for the giant redwood, Sequoia sempervirens). The burl is actually sliced from the root of the redwood tree and is therefore a very exclusive veneer, needing great care in handling. It has been book-matched to bring out its intricate pattern.
The artisan theme in the Grain Bar is carried through to the preparation of drinks where patrons are served by “mixologists” who craft unique infused alcohols and cocktails made in-house. The name itself – Grain – was selected to reflect the link between grains used in alcohol distillation (grain alcohol) and wood grain.
The interior of Grain borders on the theatrical, yet at the same time creates an elegant, warm and comfortable environment assisted by the imaginative use of wood veneers.
For more examples of the use of wood veneers, visit TVAA’s Uniquely Veneer website at www.uniquelyveneer.com.au, set up by the Timber Veneer Association to stimulate the imagination of architects, interior designers and all veneer users.