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Bar 83, Club St, Singapore
Monday 17 Dec 2012
The cue for 83 was taken from Steam Punk; A sub-genre of science fiction typically based in the 19th Century which features steam-powered machinery and time travel. The Stripe Collective projected this aesthetics onto 83, and pushed it forward into the future, playing with multiple design references.
As you enter the restaurant, huge paste-ups featuring gritty, raw and playful artworks (curated from young up-and-coming urban artists in Singapore) jostle for attention in a whirl of colours, patterns and textures.Recessed in the walls in brass frames, these artworks are changed every 6 weeks to continuously refresh and invigorate the space. The walls themselves are covered with tiny bronze fan-shaped scales.
The custom-made parquet flooringboasts a zigzag pattern in various shades of browns, which flows the entire length of the unit. To achieve this, The Strip Collective had to develop a special finish to protect the delicateindividually cut timber strips, to enable the flooring to withstand daily abuse.
Bespoke leather club chairs and dark painted timber wainscoting evoke the feeling of a Victorian gentleman's club, whilst low solid timber coffee tables hand-carved to look like stacks of oversized VHS cassette tapes, add an element of nostalgia; Labeled with 80s movie titles like ‘Police Academy' and ‘Footloose', they even appear to have been taped-over during their lifetime, as titles have been crossed out and replaced with newer movies.
Then there is the wall covered with more than 600 cassette tapes, with everything from Elton John's Greatest Hits to Led Zeppelin, which customers love to reminisce over. The bar counter, hand crafted in timber by The Stripe Collective's trusted artisans, is composed ofaudio speakers of varying sizes, all piled haphazardly on top of one another.
This miss-match throughout the space also applies to the furniture; From the ruggedbespoke sofa made of vintage jeans tags sewn together in a patchwork effect, to the custom-madetimber arms chairs with the words "original fake" hand carved into them as homage to Andy Warhol's first advertising campaign. Hand-carved timber coffee tables with various tongue-in-cheek sayings intypographical wordplays provide each guest a unique experience, depending on where they are sat in the bar. This attention to detail is even carried through to the ‘Cannes Lion'toilet roll holders in the WCs; A littlelighthearted jibe at the advertising and creative industries.
The bar has been described as "Jules Verne meets Banksy for a beer and escargot", and this playfulness extends to the outdoor seating area, where two full sized hand-carved tigers great you on the steps as you enter.