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De­sign mixol­ogy dis­tin­guishes Bar Roc, an ex­clu­sive new evening oa­sis at Eller­man House

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS -

a first look at eller­man house’s ex­clu­sive new bar

As user ex­pe­ri­ences go, ho­tel bars have a very sub­tle yet cer­tain job to do. It’s not a lobby’s job – too much to and fro – nor a lounge’s – too much tea and news­pa­pers. Their pur­pose is to in­cline you to the pos­si­ble more than the prac­ti­cal, to un­plug and re­con­nect you, solo or so­cially. Pro­vid­ing a space with that pull calls for de­sign with emo­tive power and a trans­portive nar­ra­tive, be­cause let’s face it, if you just wanted a drink there are in-room mini­bars for that.

At Bar Roc, re­cently rein­vented by Okha In­te­ri­ors from a dreary, dated tav­ern on Eller­man House’s Imax-like lawned and para­soled pool ter­race, the pull proved to be a pro­fi­cient blend of two po­lar op­po­site de­sign di­rec­tions rather than a straight up flam­ing high­ball of a sin­gle style.

‘Ja­panese min­i­mal­ism and post-war Ital­ian Baroque were my cues’, ex­plains Okha director Adam Court. ‘I was af­ter a naked max­i­mal­ism that felt fresh, el­e­gant, un­for­mu­laic, but also lus­trous and so­phis­ti­cated. Bar Roc had to be se­duc­tive in sun­shine and can­dle­light, work a serene and so­phis­ti­cated mood, and although reload­ing the vibe of a clas­sic con­ti­nen­tal ho­tel bar was tempt­ing, the space – long and nar­row with a boul­der in the mid­dle of it – needed a more evolved in­ter­pre­ta­tion.’

A deft blend of clas­sic glam fin­ishes ap­plied in a mod­ern, mea­sured way solved the para­dox. Creamy nougat ter­razzo floors in­laid with ran­dom strokes of brass bring on an off­hand luxe that’s amped up by cute squads of curvy cock­tail chairs in Adri­atic blue and a rak­ish swoop of sofa in vin­tage verdi­gris vel­vet. Swathes of brass at the bar counter, som­me­lier sta­tion and ceil­ing lights syn­co­pate a rhythm of al­lur­ing gloss whilst bis­cuit blonde stone-clad walls al­lude to es­tab­lish­ment mys­tique.

Add to this an edit of con­tem­po­rary ab­stract art from the ho­tel’s cov­etable col­lec­tion and the re­sult riffs an iden­tity of high oc­tane incog­nito that doesn’t dic­tate a mood so much as pro­vide a plat­form on which to ex­press yours. 8 okha. com; 8 eller­man.co.za

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