Howler Bar and Performing Arts Theatre

Sit­u­at­ed with­in the hub of Brunswick, Howler Bar and Per­form­ing Arts The­atre pro­vides a miss­ing piece to the local arts, music, food and enter­tain­ment cul­ture, as well as adding a new and unique green pub­lic’ space to the rapid­ly devel­op­ing inner north.

Encom­pass­ing a hid­den’ Mel­bourne feel, the exten­sive venue is flex­i­ble to accom­mo­date every­thing from a casu­al day-time cof­fee to an allur­ing night-time event with pro­vi­sion for 700 people. 

Dri­ven by the con­cept of an abstract urban for­est, Howler blurs the bound­aries between inte­ri­or and land­scape. Part nat­ur­al, part arti­fi­cial, this design uses a range of mate­ri­als and tex­tures com­bined with care­ful light­ing and shad­ow effects to recre­ate a wilder­ness from far away.

Sit­ting entire­ly with­in an exist­ing 1000 m² aban­doned wool store ware­house shell, part of the north­ern roof is now open to the ele­ments bring­ing the out­side in. Pre­vi­ous­ly a large sin­gle void, the space is now lay­ered with a gra­da­tion between land­scape and inte­ri­or, using plants and sun­light to blur the dis­tinc­tion between the two.

Host­ing three dis­tinct areas for a per­form­ing arts the­atre, inter­nal bar and exter­nal beer gar­den, the venue is designed func­tion­al­ly around a cen­tral work zone to cre­ate effi­cien­cies to ser­vice each space.

The the­atre and inter­nal bar are char­ac­terised as a fan­ta­sy for­est with an imag­i­na­tive land­scape carved from an accu­mu­la­tion of steel tubes and lines of tim­ber slabs. The entire space is illu­mi­nat­ed with whim­si­cal coloured lights mak­ing it a dream­like place espe­cial­ly at night and for host­ing events. Lay­ers of detail reveal them­selves through­out to enhance this feel­ing of being in a fan­ta­sy forest.

The beer gar­den cre­ates an equal­ly won­der­ous nat­ur­al gar­den using reclaimed timers and wild planters which weave from the ground to over­head encir­cling the area with lush foliage. 

Work­ing with a mod­est bud­get and lim­it­ed time­frame, the ware­house is trans­formed into a spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance envi­ron­ment attract­ing artists, and staff.

Back to Projects