Since the opening of the Museum of New and Old Art (MONA) in 2009, Hobart has experienced a boom in art and cultural offerings that has attracted national and international tourists to the island state. With the majority of visitors to MONA arriving via ferry, the creation of a new pier and retail offerings within the Franklin Wharf precinct improves the arrival sequence to MONA and simultaneously leverages visitor numbers to support local crafts and products.
Opposite the ferry departure point is a row of Victorian Italianate buildings which have hosted a number of uses including State Government offices and more recently hospitality and dining. Over this time a series of unsympathetic renovations have cluttered the lofty interiors, buried the original fabric and restricted operations, particularly in relation to the neighbouring precinct changes.
The revival process commenced with stripping back the existing fit out by removing walls and suspended ceilings to exposed the original cornice and brick. The bar was repositioned from the back of the space to a central island creating a much more welcoming atmosphere and opening up the adjacent spaces to accommodate a diverse range of seating configurations and dining experiences.
The historic fabric was retained and classical elements were introduced in an inventive way: a dining alcove with walls covered in ornate ceiling roses, bespoke decorative skirting boards line the bar front and detailed stencil tile pattens around the serving space. Contemporary elements showcase the craftsmanship of local products and makers with new booth spaces lit by Ross Gardam’s Aura brass pendants, graphics and branding by Adam Gibson and Hobart made bespoke tables and basins in the dining area and bathrooms respectively.
The arrival of Post Street Social takes advantage of the natural sunlight and incredible Derwent views to provide a much needed day and night venue for the eclectic Franklin Wharf precinct. Cumulus Studio’s collaboration with contemporary artists, makers and craftsmen, combined Post Street Social’s use of local produce in its food and beverage offering, makes a unique contribution to the precinct’s showcase of local talent.