I had the pleasure of dining at 12 Micron last week: a well deserved Christmas lunch for RSd and a wonderful excuse to take a closer look at the highly commended SJB interior.
‘Hospitality’ winner of the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2017 and ‘Highly Commended’ in the 2017 Interior Design Excellence Awards (to name just a couple of accolades) the design oozes contemporary sophistication.
As explained on the SJB website, the prominent and buzzing Barangaroo location commanded a 'Sydney aesthetic' carefully ‘developed to harmonise but not compete with the harbour views’.The concept for the scheme was derived from the Australian bush and flora, specifically the Spotted Gum tree….but overlaying an urban context.
The juxtaposition of ‘nature’ and the ‘man-made’ is subtle and elegant. There are chic examples of contrasting rough and refined elements; tight geometry and grids against untamed natural texture and pattern. A smooth white barrel vaulted ceiling pierced with beautifully simplistic rod lighting sits over cobbled stone circulation routes and zones of warm timber flooring. A disc of leathered stone sits in the centre of the round timber tables perched on a smooth black cone base. Pristine geo-patterned tiles decorate the bar and large polished concrete columns dominate. Strips of rough cut fabric (linen I think) hang in the ceiling void in a regimented lineal pattern. The loose-fit dusty pink leather banquettes and sofas are finished with a raw, almost ‘unfinished,’ ruffled fringe and appear informal and organic sitting in front of the ordered and refined banks of shelving.
The shelves are well crafted and serve as partial screening for privacy and zoning as well as beautiful backdrops. They also incorporate discreet serving stations and store glassware so they tick the ‘functional’ box. Constructed on a coarse ‘leathered’ granite base (Kashmir White) the spotted gum timber framework reaches for the ceiling but doesn’t quite touch. Plum/maroon stained vertical rods span the diagonal line of multiple shelf compartments enhancing depth and adding visual interest; and although the rod repetition is regular the overall effect reminded me of the view through a forest with glimpses of light around the tree trunks.
Inspired by the spotted gum bark and leaves the colour palette includes green-greys, plums, pinks and hints of blue sitting on a warm tonal base of spotted gum timber, mottled greys and clean whites. At first glance the prominent use of dusty pink as you walk through the bar area might lead you to think that the scheme is quite feminine. In fact the use of this colour dilutes the deeper masculine tones and finishes, skilfully balancing the scheme. Flashes of blue colour; sleek black lineal elements and silhouettes; and orange pops in the floral styling keep the design fresh and contemporary.
The space feels unique and luxurious with a hint of edgy. Hats off SJB!
Needless to say food was delicious…tender meats and very big portions. The dessert blew me away. The wine, a delectable viognier, was recommended by the very attentive staff and went down very well indeed. All in all a delightful afternoon!