Malt & Juniper

Sans-Arc Studio created an intimate ambiance for Malt & Juniper, a gin & whisky bar in Adelaide that pays homage to the classic cocktail bars of yesteryear.

  • area / size 753 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Location Adelaide, Australia,
  • The brief was for a romantic, moody space, where patron comfort is key. A requirement was an over-sized back bar to house an elaborate liquor collection and a sliding ladder to access the upper reaches. We started with these two elements; the bar as a moment of theatre and grandeur, surrounded by booths where occupants can tuck in and hideaway in the darkness. M&J’s offering inspired a botanical twist to the space, the resultant design balances modernist influences in timber panelling and stucco render with green marble and indoor planting. The space itself is narrow, with a mezzanine to the rear. The bar dominates the space, with a suspended planter, mirrors and varied lighting creating depth, layering and a sense of openness in a small footprint. A limited budget went a long way, with the client as project manager and considerable time throughout the build liaising with consultants and trades.

    The menu is based around two spirits; whisky and gin, their base botanicals used to form the name of the venue; malt and juniper, and used to inspire a botanical, yet classic cocktail bar aesthetic. Within the space the mixing of drinks takes centre stage, the large back bar, stocked with liquor and plants creates a rich, visually dense backdrop for a simple, green marble bar, a stage of sorts. This idea of drink-making as theatre is expanded upon by 4-metre ladder that slides along the back bar, where bartenders run up and down the ladder all evening, accentuating the height and creating a vertical axis within the space. The bar is contrasted and surrounded by secluded booth seating. With a high back and deep seat, these are spaces you can sink into, where intimate conversations can take place and a quality, slow drink can be had.

    Design: Sans-Arc Studio
    Photography: Brendan Homan