Our brief was to reinstate Mt Erica Hotel as a beloved neighbourhood local. From it’s humble beginnings, the hotel has been a place for the community to gather: For everything from Election meetings and lodge gatherings to the watching of sporting events and communal knock-off drinks.
The pub has been radically expanded over it’s 160 year history and as a result, step one of re-designing this historic Prahran venue, was to remove all the haphazard add-ons and quick fixes of the past 20 years. We wanted to restore both its original charm, as well as its original purpose, as a local hub.
We worked to retain the surviving detailing of the original, Victorian-era front bar, keeping up the tradition of ‘the local’, whilst also giving it a contemporary, roughly polished edge. The heritage feel of wood-panelling , warm tartans and bentwood barstools are all given a fresh, modern twist through the use of colour and application. Keeping it casual and familiar.
The adjacent, much newer, single story dining area, and outdoor bar, whilst retaining stylistic elements of the front, becomes another zone entirely. With none of the heritage to pay homage to of the front bar, we step forward in time. This area becomes a looser, odder, more filmic play on the mid century tradition of the neighbourhood pub. The wood panelling remains but evolves from the more traditional profiles into something more eccentric: The tartan upholstery takes on a more modern colour palette and the classic timber floorboards give way to cork. Other mid century elements such as the rattan, daybed-like joinery, louvered cupboard doors, vinyl chairs and travertine all become part of the nostalgic yet modern look.
Bergman and Co is a unique mix of talents and backgrounds; Wendy Bergman has years of experience designing some of Melbourne’s most well-known and beautiful hospitality venues. Industrial designer Paul Grummisch, of Please Please Please, has designed bespoke lighting through out the venue, as well as a custom wine wall and plant hangers. Combined with Interior Designer Ineke Hutter’s 20 years of experience designing and decorating within the film and television industry and Jack Monte’s extensive Architecture background, Bergman & Co is a place where everyone plays to their strengths, collaborating to create bespoke, and uncommon interiors.
Photographer: Nicole England