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Sans Arc carves Carlo Scarpa-inspired bistro in Adelaide laneway

Sans Arc carves Carlo Scarpa-inspired bistro in Adelaide laneway


Sans Arc drew inspiration from the famed Italian architect to create a bright, timber-heavy interior for this hole-in-the-wall bistro in the South Australian capital.

Part Time Lover appears as an oasis in Adelaide. Taking cues from Himalayan guesthouses and leaning heavily on mid-century ideals, the all-day bistro behind Town Hall was designed as an older sibling to the owner’s other venue, Whistle & Flute.

Sans Arc creates a bustling space, full of light, greenery, a nice breeze and a bit of a buzz. Hidden in a laneway, Part Time Lover is a modernismo-timber-pavilion sitting proudly upon a little green outcrop. The building opens to its surrounds.

Slightly elevated above ground level, it creates some privacy for its occupants while emitting an inviting glow to passers-by.

Part Time Lover was “designed as a watering hole for people in the city,” explains Sans Arc.

“It would be there to service the area; a warm, bright moment tucked away in a quiet, central spot.”

Internally, there are contrasts of new textures against old and Carlo Scarpa-inspired strong volumes and sculptural forms. Five and eight-metre-long custom linear pendant lights illuminate the bar and banquette seating.

Fixed and loose furniture has been adjusted to cope with a fall of 200mm across the space – meaning each seat has its place within the room. The curves, while playing to an aesthetic, create flow and movement through the space, making operation and visiting a smooth experience.

The project embraces and works with its historical context too, maintaining the existing Mintaro slate flooring and using the stone boundary wall as banquette seating.

The material selections subtly contrast and complement these materials, hand-selected blonde western red cedar timber, brown terrazzo, white concrete and muted green tiles.

The aesthetic is modern and bold, but sympathetic to its surrounds. The operable boundary windows connect the building to its context, immersing the customer in greenery, historic buildings and soft, warm light.

Sans Arc Studio is an off-beat architecture studio with offices in Melbourne and Adelaide, using environmentally responsible design to create fun spaces and good vibes. It’s led by Matiya Marovich and Sam Cooper.

Perth-based interior architecture and furniture design studio, Ohlo Studio created a similarly bright and natural restaurant interior for Perth pizzeria Dough Pizza.

Photography: Thomas McCammon.


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