Pabu Bar

Pabu Bar

Architects EAT
Project Year
Gregory Elms

Sake & Grill, Collingwood, Melbourne .

Architects EAT as Architects

Pabu in Japanese stands for 'pub'. Pabu’s interior is most essentially an interplay between form and colour. The space contains a timber hut made from recycled mess mate, which is the heart beat of the restaurant - the kitchen¬. This timber hut forms a backdrop to the sake bar, further adding to programmatic and material layering within the space, a typical Japanese sensibility towards design.

Originally, with an exception to the shopfront, the site was quite derelict. Together with the client we wanted this place to be playful without any literal references. Contextually being in Collingwood, there was a tendency to lean towards the element of quirkiness.

Pabu is a small space layered with storytelling and sculptural representations. It taps into the essence of Japanese street art and explores ideas of seasonal variation. The layout of the open grill and sake bar creates a theatre of cooking, further enhancing the concept of a Japanese street stall

The hand painted mural contained within the existing brick niches by Hiro from Two One Elephant depicts the seasonal changes in Japan. Overhead, a large and playful timber abacus completes the space.

We specifically chose colours which compliment and contrast with one another; colours which help to highlight the recycled timber and reverse clad brick wall tiling; colours which accentuate the ceiling; and colours on the mural to evoke the changing colours of the Japanese seasons. Pabu's raw and unfinished aesthetics celebrates the Japanese approach of humility.

At Pabu we explored how raw materials such as steel reinforcement bars can be reconsidered to serve as a screening device or to serve as a door handle. We played with the surface of a brick tile, reversing the brick to create texture and pattern. There were a lot of techniques of carpentry involved in making the timber abacus light without compromising its form; and utilizing every space available to house displays and accommodate for equipment. At Pabu it's the simple things that matter most.

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