Atrium, Perth

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To design a five star hotel lobby restaurant, one has to appeal to a broad cross section of patrons and guests, for all meal services, to last the 10 to 15 year life cycle of a fit out, that can potentially see multiple hotel brands operating. When I lead the design reinvention of Crown Casino’s Hotel Atrium Restaurant in Perth with Blainey North, there were plenty of site complexities for this 360 seat venue.

As balconies of the hotel corridors above look down into the various levels of the restaurant and hotel lobby, it is more like an enclosed landscape than an interior space. The project is part of the massive Crown Metropol atrium and Lobby bar project shared in an earlier post, DECO BLING. It was a complete wipe the slate clean and start over project, including a new full show kitchen with international gourmet offerings.

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One major initial challenge was that the venue sits under a glass atrium roof ten stories high. Climate, sun and glare control are the side effects of being able to sit under the big sky, and as creating intimacy within an immense void is not really achievable, it has to be celebrated. Translucent silver tensile structures help reduce glare and heat, provide projection opportunities and encourage the eye to roam upwards and about.

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A sense of semi enclosure and arrival was created with laser cut bronze screens, still allowing visual connection to pathways into other circulation areas, and the adjacent glitzy lift screen. The change in slab levels created a natural separation from the lobby and presented the opportunity to create an accessible, graceful arrival, via a new generous ramp.

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Herringbone patterns with vertical textures and lines are used consistently throughout, to guide the eye upwards to the Atrium roof and glorious Perth sky. Why not celebrate the existing architectural advantages?

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A focal point is created with the festooned canopy over the doubled sided bar, (also serving the Lobby lounge on the other side of the screen wall). Custom pendants with fine chrome rods reinforce the vertical motif.

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The thick stone clad walls give the restaurant a substantial enclosure and ground the space which otherwise floats in the airy atrium. Narrow slots with decorative bronze screens provide limited vistas and some privacy from the throngs of hotel, Convention Centre and Casino patrons beyond.

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I always judge a venue by the consideration given to its amenities, so I try and live my own expectations. The restaurant opened in late 2010 and has recently expanded due to its popularity. Those cashed up miners in Perth must love a good buffet!

Photos by Justin Condon and Blainey North and Crown Metropol Websites.

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