Having acquired the Northern Steamship building, The client came to us with an opportunity to deliver a contemporary & casual Gastropub in downtown Britomart. With a portfolio of restaurants dotted throughout the area, the clients understood what was missing from the market. Drawing inspiration and reference from successful day-time pubs across Australia, they wanted to experience for visitors and locals of Auckland CBD which shared the same success.

Project Name: The Brit
Studio Name: CTRL Space
Location: Britomart, Auckland, New Zealand
Photography: Sarah Grace
Completion date: 2019

The Brit by CTRL Space - Sheet1
Dining Space ©Sarah Grace

We were immediately inspired by the location and wealth of history that the Northern Steamship building held. The building had served as the headquarters for the company who provided for the northern half of the North Island from 1881 to 1974. Pulling this history into our design was a critical influence and helped drive the concept for the Gastropub.

We took reference from the stunning architecture of the building to influence the interior build for features like the arched windows into the kitchen and arched bar formation. We also took reference from the wharf and introduced balustrades and handrailing features throughout to pay homage to the rich history.

The Brit by CTRL Space - Sheet2
Bar ©Sarah Grace

In order to achieve the day-time pub atmosphere that the client was after, we knew we had to create a highly social environment and challenge the traditional pub design that kiwis were used to. Although the site had already been operating as a bar before being acquired, we decided to completely reconfigure the layout.

We placed the bar in the middle of the open floor plan with a 3-sided service area to make ordering drinks and food as easy as possible. This also helped create zones, with dining on the south side, and bar leaners and pool tables on the north.

The Brit by CTRL Space - Sheet3
Seating Space ©Sarah Grace

It was important that the design felt approachable, but also supported the quality food offering that chef Gareth Stewart had created for the client. We incorporated quality finishes and materiality like leather seating, brass finishes and considered styling.

Generally pubs have been known to target the male audience typically for occasions like after work drinks and watching sporting matches. We wanted to make sure that the appeal of the pub would also attract a wider female audience and families alike to ensure the appeal and success of a day-time pub. We employed a light and energetic scheme which complimented the source of natural light pouring in from the generous windows and repositioned the pub preconception.


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