Helm Bar and Bistro, Surfers Paradise

role Interior Design

completed date April 2013

area 1,369m²

client East Coast Hotels

peckvonhartel was engaged by East Coast Hotels to provide interior design services for a major refurbishment of an existing venue in Surfers Paradise. The result is Helm Bar and Bistro @ Surfers, an open plan nautical themed venue. The project scope included the redesign of the bar, bistro, TAB, gaming room, outdoor dining and smoking areas.

The venue was previously characterised by a combination of black tiles, leather couches and chrome, so the design concept for the new space was guided by the idea of ‘out of the darkness and into the light’. The space was revamped to create an environment that was playful and full of light, drawing on the venue’s view across the Nerang River.

The riverside location inspired peckvonhartel to draw on water-based activities to guide their design of the interior. The venue’s high ceilings, curved lines and huge windows lent themselves naturally to the nautical theme. The bar side, with its emphasis on sports, is designed around sailing; whilst the bistro side, with its emphasis on food, draws on elements from fishing. The large open space of the main bar area was divided into more intimate spaces through the use of subtle divisions, such as floor to ceiling ropes, couches and folding glass doors.

The interior palette was informed by the brief for a light, sophisticated and playful space combining new and old found objects. In October 2013 the design received the Queensland Hotels Association Award (QHA) for Best Casual Dining.