Project : The Apo, Brisbane
Interior Designer : Elie Moubarak and Juan Salazar
Client : The Moubment Group
Photography : Courtesy of The Moubment Group
The lighting design for The Apo responds directly to the interior design and activity of this new venue embracing the layered history of the building.
Situated in the central location of Ann St, Fortitude Valley, which comes to live after dark, this heritage listed 1862 building, was once an Apothecary, home to chemistry; where the manufacturing and distribution of medicines took place. The old brick work, lead glass windows and high ceilings with exposed timber beams, all bear markings and life from its first beginnings.
The Apo restaurant bar joins the strong award winning portfolio of the Moubment group, owners of Gerard’s Bistro, Gerard’s Bar and Laruche. And was designed by co-owner Elie Moubarak, along with Architect Juan Salazar. Their design pays great homage to the buildings history and former practice, and is inspired by its original structure and remaining elements.
On the ground floor of exposed brick, timber beams and exposed timber ceiling, sits the bar and open bar kitchen. Opposite are the dining tables, original fireplace, intimate seating nooks and the concrete stair case cascading through the open void leading up to the next floor.
The lighting design is playful; differing beams of light accentuate feature elements and architectural forms; highlighting textures and materials to bring to life the new design and historic context. We created a theatrical presence to the space through the play of light and shadow. With light we created a sense of darkness, mystery and discovery.
The bar and kitchen are contemporary shiny elements alive with light reflection, shine and activity, are juxtaposed by the calm intimacy of the dining and drinking areas.
Upstairs awaits a charming discovery. Serenity, calmness from the activity below, and whiteness. White marble walls define the new space within the original brick structure. Simplicity is here, thus calling for simple lighting design; we paint the space in ethereal light. Scarcely placed Michael Anastasiades’ Flos IC pendants and wall lights, of hand blown white shiny glass on brass angles, hover angelically; their illumination and delicately balanced design add glamour and a touch of luxury to this haven.
Elie, Juan and the Moubment Group have put their Midas touch and concocted a stunning experiential venue, full of surprise and discovery in all its facets. They are the new generation in The Apo making their own type of chemistry. And what an exciting journey with light it made!