Technē redesigns the classic Australian pub

Mar 31, 2022
  • Article by Charlotte Huston

Combining the intimacy and refinery of modern dining with the inimitable atmosphere and qualities of your local pub, The Graham Hotel by Technē Architecture and Interiors is a reenergised hospitality venue.

Located in Port Melbourne, The Graham Hotel is a 150-year-old building that has been handed a second chance at life by Technē.

The exterior of The Graham Hotel in Port Melbourne.

Drawing on the site’s rich heritage, Technē’s redesign of the classic Australian pub is guided by the ethos of bringing people together at this ‘home away from home.’

Technē hopes to bring a diverse appeal to the building, which becomes evident when roaming through the different layers of the venue.

From the ‘garden city’ method of urban planning to outdoor beer gardens and the traditional domestic sunroom, the converted courtyard takes on this fusion of inspirations and is transformed into a garden oasis where indoor dining areas spill into an abundance of sky-lit environment.

Technē employed an earthy colour palette.

“We wanted to create pockets of gathering spaces that utilised biophilic designs, emulating the ‘garden city’ concept where self-contained communities are surrounded by ‘green belts’,” explains Technē director Nick Travers.

“Working closely with Ayus Botanical, our strategic layout sees to various islands for gathering that is encased by custom-made timber banquettes and lush greenery.

“Our greatest triumph has been creating a functional space which naturally compliments and speaks to the living landscape,” he adds.

The space is spoilt for natural light.

The liveliness of the courtyard sunroom permeates through the Hotel’s indoor areas where the main bar anchors as the centering ‘hub’, which patrons and staff fluidly cross.

Views through to the kitchen also facilitate open and animated energy, while the functional fireplaces that punctuate the courtyard and indoor spaces usher a genuine warmth throughout the space.

Technē used aged materials reminiscent of a historic pub to stand in contrast to the natural timber and stone. Hallmarks of the classic Aussie pub also appear in the signature bar stools on the perimeter of the bar and the vinyl-cushioned seated booths.

The venue also accommodates formal dining.

Harking back to the building’s diverse appeal, the various seating options and spaciousness signal the versatility of the Graham Hotel in accomodating older and younger demographics.

Whether it be a solo or group knockoff, a Sunday pub meal with the family of housemates, the Graham Hotel is ready to accommodate.

“We retained much of the original fabric and soul of the historic corner pub building,” says Travers.

“It is becoming rare for old local pubs of this age to retain their operation for the community, so our revamp of the Graham Hotel is really a celebration of the site’s past lives and an ode to its future.”

Black decor provides glamour to the interiors.

Photography by Tom Roe.

Technē Architecture and Interior Design is a leading mid-sized design studio in Melbourne. Directed by Nicholas Travers, Justin Northrop and Steve McKeag, Technē has contributed to Australia’s modern design aesthetic by creating spaces that enrich the human experience.

The studio’s portfolio encompasses commercial, hospitality, residential, retail and workplace projects, creating bespoke spaces that enrich the human experience.

Also in hospitality design, Splinter Society paid homage to the quintessential local pub in a new Glen Iris taproom.

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