Tucked into the evolving intersection of Swan & Church Street, The Ugly Duckling designed by Hecker Guthrie represents all that is Melbourne. The interior is clean yet theatrical, sporting a touch of nature, with a nod to the past. The bar area features a restrained palette, industrial detailing along with some unexpected and playful moments that lead one through to the atrium. One enters the bar by stepping across the bluestone entry threshold. The floor is lined with compositional ink-blue tiles that create a strong, dynamic movement with a monolith bar rising from the floor to take centre stage. Moving out of the bar, the mood changes dramatically. The designers have celebrate the architecture of the space, and the atrium which spans the length of the room. The warm palette of pale grey walls and white oiled timber floors embrace a conservatory aesthetic, with two large trees anchored by plinths and sconce wall lighting randomly dotted throughout. A deep banquette of tan leather and linen offer options for group chatter or private conversations. The cane workmanship of the loose chairs suggest comfort and tradition, whilst mimicking the frames of the joinery and lighting throughout. Maintaining the element of the unexpected, the bathrooms sit in stark contrast with the bar, moving to a dark palette engaged at the entrance. Japanese mosaic tiles line the walls and floors in the bar’s signature colours; a textured matte black with a playful blue grout. Hecker Guthrie, you’ve bloody done it again!


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