When you find out that the proprietor of a new venue is the successful Two Bit Group, which also own and run Varnish on King, Darlings Supper Club, and The Sherry, you know you’re in for a treat.
Lantern Creative worked in association with Renovo Heritage and Architectural Solutions Australia to provide architectural and heritage support to transform the previous Venn Café & Bar into a hospitality offering now known as The Four Factory.
As the building was on the municipal heritage register, a sympathetic approach to the design and building process was required. “The City of Perth was very easy to work with, and understood what we were trying to achieve,” says Lantern Creative director, Clinton Matthews.
It was important to convert the existing retail space with minimal change to the main structure. “The design is inserted into the space with complementary elements, so as to reduce the ecological footprint through minimal alteration,” Clinton said.
A new lift, bar area and additional toilet facilities now align it with the current standards for liquor licensing, building compliance and disabled access, while a consistent material palette seen throughout comprises timber wall and benchtop elements, and the colour yellow.
“Bar owner Andy Freeman had very strong ideas about the style and materiality of the project,” explains Clinton. Taking these ideas, refining the planning and design, and considering the heritage aspects and requirements to work collaboratively has resulted in a beautiful space that the public can enjoy.
“Raw timber and the full-length bar top that maintains the natural edge of the trees it was cut from is a key feature of the space,” says Clinton.
Soft lighting with large light fittings that hang from the original pressed tin ceiling provide a sense of intimacy in a space that could easily feel cold and empty, while soft furniture adds to the invitation to stay a while longer.
Photography: Clinton Matthews