Australia’s most colourful bars celebrated in 2023 Dulux Colour Awards

Rocco's Bologna Discoteca, VIC - Studio Co and Co

The finalists have been announced for 2023’s Dulux Colour Awards, celebrating innovative use of colour in design.

This year’s Colour Awards received a record breaking 477 entries, which the judging panel whittled down to only 113 finalists. The finalists span residential, commercial, and public spaces, and are located across Australia and New Zealand. Awards will be given to each category, as well as the Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix awards.

“Each year, the level of excellence increases, which makes our job particularly challenging,” said Dulux Colour and Communications Manager Andrea Lucena-Orr, who also sits on the judging panel for selection of the finalists. “It reflects the maturing appreciation of the role that colour plays in the built environment, as well as the courage architects and designers display with exciting innovation.”

Bars, pubs, and hotels are among the venues entered into the Commercial Interior – Workplace and Retail category.

“There is an exceptional breadth of colour usage evident across the commercial categories and, it is safe to say, based on the extent of this year’s entries, that the days of ‘safe’ and predictable palettes in this sector are changing. There is a notable playfulness and vibrancy demonstrated in all typologies,” Lucena-Orr said.

Lucena-Orr identified the emerging trends of this year. Eye-catching designs such as colour-blocking and graphic devices in bold hues on neutral bases have proven popular. Earthy tones are popular as always, particularly warm whites and neutrals, muted pastels and subtle greens.

“Contrastingly, deep, colour-saturated interiors are coming through, especially in moody blues, environmental greens, burnt reds and dusky pinks,” Lucena-Orr explained, “We have also noticed a shift toward the consideration of painted architectural details, such as skirtings, window frames and doors, which inevitably adds a level of refinement to any project.”

There are a number of bars, pubs, and hotels among this year’s finalists:

  • Pernod Ricard Workplace, Victoria – Unispace (Photographer: Peter Clarke)
  • River Drive Motel, Victoria – Moth Design (Photographer: Albert Comper)
  • Hotel Vera Ballarat, Victoria – Pitch Architecture and Design (Photographer: Jack Lovel)
  • The Royal Oak Hotel, Victoria – Bergman and Co. (Photographer: Eve Wilson)
  • Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca, Victoria – Studio Co and Co (Photographer: Eugene Hyland)
  • Ace Hotel Sydney, NSW – Flack Studio (Photographer: Anson Smart)
  • Bondi Pavillion Glory Days, NSW – COX Architecture (Photographer: Adrian Mesko)
  • Jane, NSW – Luchetti Krelle (Photographer: Anson Smart)
  • Kiln, Ace Hotel Sydney, NSW – Fiona Lynch Office (Photographer: Pablo Vega)
  • Light Years, Byron Bay, NSW – Studio Plenty (Photographer: Jessie Prince)
  • Pernod Ricard Workplace, NSW – Ellie Brunning, Sue Napoli, Rebecca Rogers, Sydney Design School, (Student Category)
  • Dolly, SA – Genesin Studio (Photographer: Jonathan VDK)
  • La Lune, WA – Rezen Studio (Photographer: Jack Lovell)
  • Dandelion, WA – MJA Studio (Photographer: Dion Robeson)

The final judging panel is comprised of Andrew Piva, Director of B.E Architecture, Brahman Perera, Interdisciplinary Designer and Director of his eponymous studio, Lisa Lee, Senior Interior Designer of Snøhetta, Sarah Carney, Project Director of CTRL Space, and, Byron George, Director of Russell & George. The winners will be announced on Thursday 11 May.

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