Just like a crisp, golden pint of fine beer, traditional Bavarian bier hall architecture often mirrors the warm, honeyed tones of the popular beverage by using natural woods to create a feeling of cosiness and intimacy. Echoing this sentiment perfectly is the Hophaus Bier Bar on Melbourne’s popular Southgate promenade.

Designed by Maddison Architects, architect Drew Carling says traditional bier cafes were analysed to determine common material elements. This was then reinterpreted in form and function, as well as through the use of traditional materials during the Hophaus Bier Bar design stage.

“We found materials such as terrazzo, timber, glazed brickwork, stone, fine steelwork and custom lighting elements conveyed a crafted and bespoke feel,” he says.

“Treating familiar elements with a contemporary slant and creating a simultaneously recognisable, yet new atmosphere, Hophaus looks to historic German architecture for inspiration. Texture and warmth are created by using crafted and hand finished materials such as brick, steel, timber and stone throughout.”

Featuring Big River Group’s Armourpanel Blackbutt timber on the establishment walls and ceiling, the material choice was crucial to the overall bar look and chosen for its hardy nature.

“The product is unique as a hardwood timber finish and can withstand considerable impact,” explains Carling.

As Australia’s strongest decorative plywood, Big River Group Armourpanel is thoroughly designed, tested and approved to withstand extreme heat and humidity, and to resist shrinkage. It’s this tolerance of changes in ambient temperature and its toughness that make it ideal for flooring, ceiling and wall lining in hard-wearing areas.

“With functional durability and a visual integrity that is unlike other materials, Armourpanel Blackbutt was the ideal choice,” says Carling.

Also important to the project design was seeking environmentally friendly materials.

“We are obligated to be aware of the environmental sustainability of the products we specify and Big River’s AFS certification ensures source material is from managed regrowth and plantation forests,” Carling says.