The Pound is not merely a café. It arrives from a relatively new café hybrid that combines the recognisable café or coffee shop, the sandwich bar come tuck shop, the local corner wine bar and above all, a meeting place. Squeezed into a mere 50m2, the brief was to accommodate these uses within an existing concrete shell, the last shop down a side street off Chapel St. Part of a major redevelopment of an old weights and scales shop, the new complex houses apartments, office and the ubiquitous fashion boutiques.
The fitout encompasses a new shopfront, bar servery, storage facilities and a variety of seating for thirty patrons internally and a dozen or so externally. It attempts, through testing and constant re-evaluation in the planning and design stage, to arrive at a refined working solution that feels as though it belongs to both the building and the street. It may always have been here, capturing the corner intersection of laneways and side streets.
Peering into some type of stage set through the industrial steel windows and raw concrete ceilings, the interior is a layered manipulation of object, surface, material and illusion. Compact yet expansive, the rich dark tones mix with the pale blue and white of the bar, surrounded by deep sea-green tiles and woven wallpaper. With a controlled intensity, the Pound stimulates the senses and the locals, as any good hybrid should do.
Project Team: Grant Amon, Mike McCleod
Builder: Claudius Construction Pty Ltd
Lighting: Studio Italia, Furniture: MAP, Join
Awards: RAIA, Interior Architecture – Commendation 2002; Urban Design Award, Best Alterations and Editions, City of Stonnington 2002
Published: Artichoke No.11 2002, Vogue Entertaining Spring 2001
Specifier No. 48 2002, Architect June 2002
Photos: Trevor Mein & Christine Wood