Dark, natural materials provide the backdrop for slightly brutalist curves to divide up this expansive yet intimate space. Overflowing with greenery and speckled with natural light Stem is a moody, romantic wine bar and restaurant.
What was the brief?
Located at the University end of Adelaide’s infamous Hindley Street, the site was originally a mechanic workshop, most recently Caos Cafe, a budget friendly “pub”, which closed 5 years ago and has since been unoccupied. The brief called for a moody, industrial space, aiming to house a number of functions - a wine cellar, bar, intimate dining spaces and a function room. The concept for the venue was aspirational, multi-faceted and aimed to create an elevated drinking and dining experience.
What is the concept behind the project?
The project has two conceptual underpinnings. Firstly to create an expansive yet intimate space; one that feels layered, deep and encourages exploration, but is full of small, unique moments - different experiences within the venue.
Secondly, to use texture, sculptural forms and light to create drama within the space. The design contrasts light and dark, rough and smooth, channeling brutalism and using raw materials whilst framing soft plants and greenery.
The space is dramatic, texturally rich, natural and phenomenologically considered. Green moments within a sculptural concrete jungle, gently speckled with natural light and intimate pockets to hide away in.
How does the programming/layout of the project work?
The main entrance from Hindley Street lands the patron in front of a welcome counter, a walkway then guides them past the enclosed, exclusive and theatrically lit wine cellar. Passing intimately framed booths on the left hand side, the patron lands in the central bar area, framed by a seven metre corrugated concrete bar and large timber communal table. This area is informal and relaxed, adjacent the long kitchen in a raised level, sitting slightly above the space, it creates an intimate space for romantic dinners - private, yet connected. Following a narrow hallway past the toilet takes you to the function space a large concrete communal table is bathed in sunlight from the North and set against a colourful mural to the South.