The ambitious recently completed refit of the Whistling Sisters Brewery and Fermentary Cafe/Restaurant on Ghuznee Street, Wellington has created a welcoming and interesting experience for patrons with the real-life brewing activity easily observed. To achieve this, careful thought was given to the layout of the facilities.
“The brief was to incorporate the brewery, two restaurants, one upstairs and two bars in a seam-less and visually appealing way. “This project is very personal to the client, the Scott Family,” says Amanda Daysh from Architecture HDT.
The family started Whistling Sisters, to commemorate the life and to remember Karen Hunter (nee Scott) who tragically lost her battle with breast cancer in April 2015.
They established The Karen Louisa Foundation to support research into advanced breast cancer, a cause the business actively supports.
Karen had a vibrant spirit and a never give up attitude – one which is reflected in the Whistling Sisters logo of the woman striding up the hill purposefully and with a mission.
She very much appreciated well thought out and beautifully created spaces – with interior design and architecture being both a hobby and a passion for her. Her vibrancy impacted on everyone around her.“She was about creating, making and involving and those principles underpinned the design,” Amanda explain.
Mike Davies, a Director at Architecture HDT has had a long-standing association with the Scott family, and was enthusiastically supportive of the project from its inception when Russel Scott approached him to undertake the design. “Mike did a concept lay out and that was essentially the basis.”
A thoughtful choice and use of materials, giving visitors to Whistling Sisters and Fermentary a spectacle of shapes, colours and textures to experience along with its outstanding design elements, led to award recognition by the NZIA Wellington region in its recent awards. The project picked up the Hospitality Architecture and Resene Colour awards.
Amanda says such was the attention to detail that Mike and Russel put into the project that they commissioned Resene to produce a suite of five custom colours.
“The judges were impressed with the treatment of colour throughout and one standout feature, the women’s bathroom, gives a nod to Karen’s journey with its white finish with pink tones driven by Russel and Elwyn Scott.” When it became apparent that a significant seismic upgrade of the building was necessary the Scott family decided to create an outstanding hospitality precinct.
The double height space has been cleverly negated by a large mezzanine area featuring deep down beams, from which patrons can view the workings of the brewery from above.
Amanda says, as a frequent patron, the spaces have been defined in such a way to complement each other, providing a mix of open and more intimate areas to enjoy.
“I think the exposed concrete bar front with the detailing Mike has featured, along with the exceptional standard of carpentry work from L.T. McGuinness, the main contractor, really sets this build apart.”
Topping these features, the exposed ground floor kitchen gives patrons to see the food being prepared, while engaging bold graphics are beamed on to the walls for patrons to enjoy. “And the connection to the brewery and seeing those guys working is really amazing.”
Amanda credits Elwyn Scott with the drive and inspiration for the interior design direction and fit-out. The relationship between the brewery and restaurant activity is strong.
Whistling Sisters Brewery and Fermentary often link food served to beer produced and vice versa. Brewery tours are now open every Saturday at 4pm.
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