The Sprig & Fern Freemans Bay

Location: Freemans Bay, Auckland
Area: 350sq.m     
Year of project: 2013
Completion: 2013

The Freeman’s Hotel beside central Auckland’s Victoria Park precinct was originally opened in 1886 and was designed by Architects Edward Mahoney and Sons. Its ornate facade is a proud example of Auckland’s early built history.

From the outset, the fit out was designed to be sympathetic to the building’s origins. We liaised with Heritage New Zealand as well as council to ensure the building was honoured by any changes made. Many key elements of the original building were carefully incorporated into the tavern’s design, including the stairwell, fireplaces, ceiling roses and the building’s grand corner entrance door. New additional furnishings were modern and in keeping with the Sprig and Fern brand image as well as enabling a stylistic contrast of classical and contemporary.

Commercial specifics of this job required a number of creative bespoke solutions. With up to 13 tap beers offered, keg storage and tap lines were key considerations for the bar’s design. As the building is multi-leveled, rapid transport of product was necessary, with kegs coming from basement stores and food via a dumb waiter from the commercial upper level kitchens.

Photo credit Sam Hartnett