De­signs to en­ter­tain

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - ALISTER THOM­SON alister.thom­son@news.com.au

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

Base: South­port

Staff: Six

Busi­ness:

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

Web­site: space­cubed.com.au

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.

Pic­ture: JERAD WILLIAMS

In­te­rior de­sign spe­cial­ist Space Cubed, headed by South­port bar owner Ar­ran Wool­lams, has made over a num­ber of lo­cal es­tab­lish­ments.

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