One of the first hospitality spaces to be completed in the emerging Collins Square (retail, workplace and hospitality) development, Bar Nacional evokes Melbourne’s lane-way culture and the intimacy of traditional Spanish tapas bars
The brainchild of internationally-renowned chefs, Pete Evans and Gavin Baker, Bar Nacional is an intimate tapas bar, inspired by the vibrancy and culinary sophistication of Spanish cuisine and the character of traditional pintxos bars.
The result of a design collaboration between Emily Pedersen of Walker Corp and Anna Drummond and Trish Turner of CoLAB Design Studio, the interior is an elegantly crafted series of overlapping lounge and dining spaces. “Honest and genuine are the two words at the core of this design,” explains Pedersen. “We wanted to create an atmospheric and authentic space that also referenced the beautifully crafted food on offer.”
As a result, the materials palette features a variety of tactile finishes including exposed brickwork, distressed charcoal timber, copper and brass detailing and stitched leather seating. “I also wanted to challenge the city’s preconceived notions of the Docklands end of Collins Street,” adds Emily Pederson, “and prove that we could create an intimate, laneway-like hospitality experience within the parameters of a super-modern architectural shell.”
The team have also created a sense of drama in the space, drawing patrons into the theatre of Bar Nacional’s kitchen through the articulated use of screening, louvers and carefully curated lighting. “We desired a space with stage presence that was also comfortable and welcoming,” adds Pedersen. “Collins Square will ultimately evolve into another dynamic and activated city hub and Bar Nacional is part and parcel of that long term vision.”
Photos: Peter Tarasiuk