Daddy Long Legs

Taking its cues from the vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood that speaks to a contemporary Australia, the multifunctional design of Daddy Long Legs by Ohlo Studio celebrates the vibrancy of local materials and colours so often overlooked.

  • Year 2017
  • Location Perth, Australia,
  • Daddy Long Legs’ knits together the binaries of Western Australia’s unique landscape – rugged yet polished, airy but earthy, both expansive and intimate.

    The bar design featured predominantly locally made and sourced materials that was both in line with the concept and the designer’s desire to restrict unnecessary consumption. Similarly, the furniture, the bar, the dining chairs, was all custom made locally – even the decorative light fixtures were all sourced from small, independent Australian designers. The Tuart, the timber used throughout, was from a 40 year old existing batch, found in a local mill. The surprise find of an existing material lead the way conceptually and was in line with the use of what was available locally.

    The designers used all the bones of the existing structure in order to make as little structural changes as possible and moved away from grand design gestures, to avoid the waste of unnecessary materials. Rather than create a simulacra of international bar trends, the minimalism and strength of the design hopes to provide a lasting space that can grow with habitation.

    All the timber in the space is Tuart, a rare West Australian species. Found in an old mill, it’s rarely used for furniture due to its hard, multi-directional grain. Each table, bench and stool is custom fabricated from the timber, as well as the handles, bar top and railing. Custom cabaret tables with an unfinished terrazzo top are left rugged in contemporary tones, while custom light fixtures provide moments of contrast.

    Materials and colour looked to the north and south of the state, home to specific visual languages. The hard edges and warm, earthy colours spoke to Exmouth in the states rugged north, whose graphic lines are softened by native plants, ceramics and deep blues and greys found in the state’s south-west.

    Daddy Long Legs injects a vibrant up-and-coming neighbourhood with a contemporary Australian bar. Moving away from the pub heavy local scene, the owners entrusted the concept and aesthetic largely with Ohlo. In collaboration with Remington Matters, the designers turned closer to home, celebrating the vibrancy and uniqueness of the local environment.

    The budget efficiently utilised existing conditions while configuring a multifunctional venue with a recognisable and engaging public personality. Spatial variation was key, in line with the owner’s wishes, as well as direct engagement with the street. Through the use of low walls, varying ceiling and seating heights and considered use of interlocking coloured planes, the design incorporates three distinct but connected spatial experiences – the cabaret cocktail bar, restaurant and beer garden.

    A south-west facing facade that modulates light, and an interior that balances contrast and adaptation, results in a space that is both open and airy but moody. Extensive windows take advantage of the West Australian climate, allowing air and light to penetrate deep into the space, easing fluidly from day to night.

    Design: Ohlo Studio
    Photography: Kristoffer Paulsen