Designs to entertain
SPACE Cubed has been the quiet achiever of the Gold Coast interior design scene, and chances are, you’ve seen its handiwork.
The business, founded by ex-UDIA Gold Coast boss Finn Jones and now led by Arran Woollams, is responsible for the design of popular establishments The Loose Moose, The Collective, Old Tom, Mamasan and Mr P.P’s, among other hangouts.
Mr Woollams, who studied architecture at QUT before joining Mr Jones’s business, said the hospitality space was an exciting industry to work in as an interior designer.
“The thing I love about hospitality and retail fit-outs is the short turn around times. We only have four to six weeks to design them and they are usually built a few weeks after that. So, turnaround from the start to finish is about 12 weeks. You see your end result quickly, whereas in commercial and residential construction you might not see your end result for two to three years.”
The hospitality industry has changed markedly in the past decade, with punters increasingly drawn to bars and clubs that offer something different.
“We used to do a lot of work in Brisbane because for a decade there was not much happening in the food and beverage scene on the Gold Coast. Now there has been an Founded: 2000
Founder: Finn Jones
Interior design – mostly for the hospitality industry
Notable design jobs:
The Loose Moose, The Collective, Old Tom, Mamasan, Mr P.P’s, HiSmile, East nightclub, Hollywood Showgirls
influx of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane operators, and they want to do exciting things with design.”
Mr Woollams began at Space Cubed as a student architect in 2004, before graduating to the level of associate in 2007, and then taking over from Mr Jones, who had left to join Gold Coast City Council, in 2009.
Mr Woollams changed the direction of the business to focus on interior design.
“We did condense things down for the first couple of years after I took over, to get our feet back on the ground, and focus on what we really wanted to achieve.”
After moving from an office above The Cecil Hotel to one at Davenport St, the business found a more permanent base at The Exchange co-working space on Nerang St.
The space emphasises collaboration, exactly what Mr Woolams strives for with his business.
He cites working with The Loose Moose owner Patrick Gennari as a prime example.
“I like working with clients who are passionate about their business. They are passionate about design and understand it. When we designed The Loose Moose, it was a collaboration with Patrick because he has a strong eye for design. That assists us with pushing it further.”
In 2013, Mr Woollams opened his own establishment, Not Tonight, in Southport.
The proud Southport resident said having his own bar furthered his understanding of the industry, and the ways he could help clients achieve their goals.
“You need to understand the business itself to be able to achieve a good design. With hospitality, a lot of it is functionality as well. It has to operate efficiently and the design itself needs to be equal to the business.”
Last year he opened another bar called Mr P.P’s – it is named for Southport’s first postmaster general, Mr P.P Agnew.
That reflects what Mr Woollams believes is another principle of good design.
“People need a story, that is critical.”
Mr Woollams said he wants to keep the business small in the future, with a focus on what it does best – design for hospitality businesses.
Interior design specialist Space Cubed, headed by Southport bar owner Arran Woollams, has made over a number of local establishments.