Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

 

I’m a huge fan of the emerging design practice Pattern Studio. I predict big things from young designers Lily Goodwin and Josh Cain, who are not only super talented, they are also quite possibly the most gorgeous people you could hope to come across. Today I’m thrilled to share an exclusive first look at a recently completed project in their hometown of Byron Bay – a true labour of love that was delivered on a modest budget, consuming the duo with all aspects from interior design, through to branding (signage, menus and aprons), final styling, as well as project management, contract admin and construction assistance.

Their efforts have resulted in the latest bar offering from the renowned East Coast hospitality group Three Blue Ducks, set to make its mark in the highly-regarded food scene in Byron Bay. Dubbed ‘Locura’ (Madness in Spanish), the casual Mexican eatery celebrates fine and honest food, delicious drinks, and good music. The modest interior follows the same ethos, preserving the integrity of intent, pure geometries, and simple finishes that feel equal parts humble and meaningful.

 

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

 

Tactile materials bring warmth, texture, and colour to the mostly undecorated space. Well considered lighting creates an inviting mood and ambience. The physical setting of the bar doesn’t compete to command the attention of the patrons but happily dissolves into the background, supporting and facilitating an experience that feels laid back and special, and a little different to other venues in the area. Designed to have a timeless and enduring appeal, the physical space avoids trend-driven details.

The brief given by the client was pretty loose. “The owners simply wanted to create a venue which would function as well in the early evening as it would later into the night; where patrons could move comfortably from dinner to drinks and dancing,” said Lily and Josh.

Pattern Studio’s response was to create a contemporary interpretation of a ‘Mexican restaurant’, deliberately staying clear of simplistic or culturally-appropriated references to South American culture. Hence why there’s not a single sombrero or a cactus in sight. Instead, the design discretely references the genuine character and raw beauty of small, late-night venues found across Mexico City.

 

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

 

Inspired by rough and raw urban textures, the base materials palette embraces concrete, grey brick, and mild steel. Natural stone and leather soften the finishes, adding a sense of sophistication and ensuring the comfort of those in the space is considered. The layout of furniture and joinery, including a mix of proprietary and custom designed pieces, is uncomplicated so as not to clutter the space.

The interior is mainly undecorated. Instead, visual impact arises from geometry and repetition like the linear pattern of the brick-clad bar font, or the repeat of the classic round wall sconces. Soft and ambient illumination by decorative light fittings and concealed LED strip lights create the kind of mood that suggests something special might well happen here.

A playful reference to the works of Modernist Mexican architect Luis Barragan‘s bold use of colour can be found in the venue’s restrooms, delivered via a James Turrell-inspired light installation. This gesture comes as an unexpected surprise as patrons travel from the moodily-lit and relatively unadorned bar space into the richly coloured bathrooms. A white treatment to the finishes on walls and ceiling, along with whitewashed birch plywood partitions allows coloured LEDs to wash all the surfaces, immersing everything within the space in full colour. This lighting system control allows the tone to be set to any RBG value, enabling the venue to quickly change the mood in the spaces at any time. Strip LEDs are carefully located along the tops of partitions ensuring the direct light source is concealed, and space is bathed in a soft hue.

 

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

Locura Bar in Byron Bay by Pattern Studio | Yellowtrace

 

As Byron Bay locals, Pattern Studio recognised the need for a venue a little different than what’s currently on offer in the Bay where bright, white, rendered spaces are aplenty. This addition to the local nightlife offers visitors an alternative that’s both relaxed and special, where the design and décor dissolve softly into the background, allowing the experience of excellent food, drink, and music to shine.

“Madness was in some ways a constant theme on the job. Josh and I managed all aspects from interior design, through to branding (signage, menus, aprons, styling) as well as project management, contract admin, and construction assistance. Josh managed the site and assisted with the construction himself. For a two-person team, it was a big job,” exclaims Lily.

 

Visit Locura at 6 Lawson St, Byron Bay, NSW.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Pattern Studio. Photography by Ben Hosking.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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