Once a wharf bustling with ferries, colliers, passenger and cargo steamers, tugs, tall sailing ships and merchant ships servicing the adjacent market wharf, Sydney’s King Street Wharf is today a busy refuge for city workers, residents and tourists seeking a place to eat and drink with magical harbour views.

Function room: Timber ‘fins’ wrap each of the existing concrete columns.

Surprisingly, this view had been largely ignored in the former incarnation of the All Hands Brewery House resulting in a space that was somewhat disconnected from the waterfront terrace. This was the first challenge Maddison Architects set out to resolve when re-designing the interior of the popular bar and brewery.

The second challenge was how to feature the industrial elements of the space such as large brewing tanks while maintaining a warm and welcoming atmosphere for patrons. Timber was employed to resolve this challenge and so successfully, that the project has just been announced as a finalist in the Australian Timber Design Awards.

Maddison Architects have drawn on the location’s rich maritime history in its use of timber in the brewery, employing solid timber ‘planking’ treatments reminiscent of traditional boat-building techniques. Naval engineering has also inspired much of the detailing which plays with the idea of vessels being inverted. Placed within an otherwise cold and harsh material palette, timber has provided a warmth and texture while remaining true to the maritime location and factory-like nature of the functioning brewery.

Keen to fulfil a commitment to using environmentally sustainable materials, the Australian timber featured in the project was Responsible Wood certified and included Big River Armourply hardwood which satisfied Responsible Wood’s AS 4707 standard relating to chain of custody and Vic Ash Good Wood which was sourced from a 100% regrowth forest which also had Responsible Wood accreditation in line with AS 4708 relating to forest practices.

Architect Drew Carling argues; “sustainability and the careful selection of materials is something that should be included in every project. Responsible Wood certified timbers are important in this project as they are produced from a renewable resource and are independently inspected. On top of this, certified timber has consistency in its quality and aesthetic which is important to any project.”

Timber was an important material to the overall aesthetic of this harbourside project and also brought a warmth and texture to this busy venue. Timber was used in a number of ways with hardwood ply linings used in the ceilings, wall and bar tops. Large timber hardwood “planks” are also featured on the wall cladding, vertical partitions, bar fronts and battens.

With so much timber on display, the importance of certification again came into play with Carling adding; “certified timber provides peace of mind as the quality, grain, texture and colour can be guaranteed and relied upon. Consistent appearance and performance were crucial aspects of this design.”

All Hands Brewing House is located at 22 The Promenade, King Street Wharf, Sydney.

All Hands on Deck was the winner of the Timber Design Awards – Australian Certified Timber category, sponsored by Responsible Wood. The award was presented on the 16th of October 2018 at ‘The Star Pyrmont’ in Sydney with Maddison Architects lauded for its use of Responsible Wood certified timber throughout the Brewing House.

Jason Ross – Marketing and Communications Officer for Responsible Wood (left) presented Drew Carling of Maddison Architects (right) with the 2018 TDA Australian Certified Timber award for All Hands Brewing House