Clooney is an inhabitation of a 1960s warehouse building in central Auckland. The empty shell presented an industrial palette of concrete floors, reinforced concrete frame, masonry blockwork and heavy steel bracing. This volume has been re-occupied to provide a main dining room, bar with bar dining in a repurposed loading dock and private dining platform.

This shell with its loading docks, service light-wells and five metre high ceiling needed little modification. The concept was not about building or partitioning the space, but occupying the volume, aiming at creating zones within it.

In the main dining area, cylinders of fine woven black strands refine the palette, providing a fine vertical layering throughout the space. The curvaceous forms are continued in the bespoke freestanding booth seating, upholstered in rich tan leather to warm the weathered concrete of the warehouse structure.

Custom light-fixtures designed by Fearon Hay and hand blown by New Zealand glass artist Katie Brown as transparent polished orbs with subtle deviations in form. These are suspended as clusters to provide points of focus within the darkened space.

The concrete frame and block work walls of the existing shell have been re-interpreted amongst curvaceous forms, fine textures and luxurious fabrics. Perception of the overall volume is filtered, opening and closing to provide intimacy while encouraging interaction across the space.

The internal floor area is approximately 500m2. Clooney opened its doors in 2006. Fearon Hay’s project team was led by Maggie Carroll. Tim Hay and Jeff Fearon are the design architects. Interiors are by Fearon hay with bespoke blown glass artworks by Katie Brown. Photography is by Patrick Reynolds.

Recognition: Winner of a New Zealand Architectural Award (NZIA Awards 2008) Winner of a Designers Institute Gold award (Best Awards 2007)