Sitting pretty amongst Melbourne’s bustling Swanston street, Peaches is an exciting new cocktail bar that will transport you to another time and place with its Miami-style 70’s disco vibe. Peachy hues, shiny brass accents, plush velvety booths with terrazzo tabletops and oversized greenery all contribute to an elegant yet eclectic atmosphere.
Designed as a collaboration between the Dexter Group and interior designers Pierce Widera the result is fun, innovative and welcoming. The space is a reflection of the cocktail and food offering; playful, inviting and Insta worthy.
Upstairs via a ‘soon to be iconic’ pink staircase, the Peaches rooftop is all summer vibes with its pastel blue and crisp white palette. Timber decking with white outdoor furnishings and umbrellas offer a chic modernist setting far removed from its busy commercial location. Offering a garden like escape from the concrete city.
Pierce Widera were tasked with the design of all three levels of the building with a focus on the level one restaurant, Cheek, and the Peaches rooftop. It was left to the owners to embark on their passion project for Peaches; their level two cocktail bar that evolved via with a very experimental approach to design.
We had a chat with Jonathan Rowatt, Director at Yarra Point Group, to get all the peachy insights.
Can you tell us a bit about Peaches Melbourne?
Peaches is a cocktail bar located on Swanston Streetabove Cheek Restaurant. It is designed to be a funirreverent destination bar.
Rooftops in Melbourne are very popular and we were worried that the middle level could get lost between our Restaurant Cheek and the Rooftop, so we wanted a place that would stand on its own.
What was your brief for this project?
The brief was essentially to design a place that was funand welcoming.
What was your design approach and how did it evolve throughout the project?
Because we were the clients, designers and builders thedesign was not really structured.
We had a several concepts we all agreed upon at the start, but this evolved significantly during the build. There was a lot of input from the tradespeople on site and many of the ideas were decided upon on the spot during endless conversation of how to make different things work.
How did you factor colour into your design?
Colour was essentially the foundation of the design, we wanted a bar that would stand out, stand alone and be destinational. We wanted a fun, unique and irreverent vibe in which customers could enjoy a relaxed and fun night but also have a sense of occasion. The fitout only has four colours Peach, Green, White and Gold.
We went to a lot of effort to make this happen. Even theterrazzo was custom made to match the two upholsterycolours.
What were some of your main sources of inspiration?
Our main source of inspiration was the Iranian/French designer India Mahadevi. We loved her bold and unique colour schemes, where she uses a unique colour for the vast majority of a project but then accents it with a bright pop of colour on smaller items such as the stools or counter tops. We obviously did this with the Peach colour being our primary and then accenting this with the sharper mossy green.
Who is the target market for Peaches and how did you accommodate them in the design?
We have never discussed or attempted targeting a specific market. One of the venues principles is to be welcoming to everyone. We want everyone, regardless of their demographic, age or profession to feel welcome.
How did you decide to use tiles from Earp Bros on this project?
As stated above, we wanted the venue to be welcoming to all and during the evolution of the design, we felt that the venue might be looking a bit exclusive which we wanted to avoid.
These tiles from Earp Bros are a matte finish, which pulled the tone into a more subtler feel. Also because they are cement, they will age and patina quicker which will suit the building. The building is very old and we wanted the fitout to feel natural in this old building, we feel that these tiles will help.
What was it like to work with Earp Bros on this project?
Great! I ordered the incorrect amount, so had to ordermore and they were helpful with that.
They were knowledgeable about the concrete productand advised on cleaning and sealing as well.
How is Peaches different? How did you give Peaches that competitive edge?
I think the fitout and colour scheme in particular isunique, we are not trained designers and so couldperhaps approach the project from a unique angle.