Summer Loving

Drew Bolton
Barangaroo, Sydney
Nikki To

Winner/Bronze pin, Best Design Awards 2018, Spatial/Hospitality/Food & Beverage

Conveying the evocative sense of change and anticipation that comes with annual seasons.

Referencing the French aesthetic that appears effortlessly put together yet is so carefully refined, the design draws inspiration from a classic Provençal style, but gives it a thorough polish with a confident, contemporary Australian-ness. Rustic timber beams became smooth, blonde bentwood; coiled wrought iron is coolly reinterpreted in a hand-painted wall mural inflected with a hint of 1980s brashness. Long tables recall farmhouse trestles, but here they’re considerately placed with dividers to demarcate space and create privacy for diners.

Both countries’ cultural identities are inextricably tied to seasonality and landscape. At Été, as the menu constantly changes to reflect the arrival and departure of the seasons, so too does the interior scheme. Foolscap designed vessels and directed the production of ever-evolving floral and produce installations – like the dishes on offer from the kitchen, decorative flora is the best indicator of the shifting nuances inside each season.

Meaning ‘summer’ in French, Été’ whole space references seasonality year-round. Autumn and Winter are heralded in a moody, warm palette of plum, burgundy and dark timber, while bright tangerine and green tones uplift light timbers and call out Spring and Summer. The bar is framed with hand-made green ceramic tiles and clad with hand-beaten zinc, a very slight nod to old galvanised metal wash buckets. The decorative modernist lighting was handmade in France, while the steel upholstered outdoor furniture was handmade locally to our design.

For the graphic elements, we worked closely with John Zabawa, a Chicago-based artist, to develop a rough, hand-drawn typeface and a series of artworks. There are two full-height wall murals and ten paintings. The wine menu is encased in a beautiful leather binding that we designed and had made by local leather worker Sarah van Oosterom.

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