Bad Love Club is a new boozy bakery in Footscray, located in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs.
It is housed within an existing shop front tenancy, formerly a noodle bar that required complete demolition and internal redesign by BOARCH. The design for Bad Love Club incorporates back of house facilities, a commercial kitchen for baked goods and integrated signage.
What was the brief?
Our clients came to use with one hell of a brief, we were asked to imagine the space where Frenchy and Rizzo (from Grease) have a wild love affair and end up hanging out with Eric Clapton in Joshua Tree. What a fantastic challenge and reality we wanted to make tangible.
In addition to the aspirations of our clients, BLC needed to provide an inviting atmosphere that connected with the Footscray community, would help ensure repeat visits as well as providing for a safe, functional working and baking environment. All of which needed to be achieved within a finite budget.
What were the key challenges?
We didn’t have great bones to work with, the existing shop front was within a neglected strip mall between a busy road and carpark. This presented many design challenges around how to create an inviting destination that could transition from the day to night program (bagels and coffee in the mornings, paired cocktails and desserts in the evening) while also attracting passing pedestrians and vehicular traffic.
There was of course the not so small design challenge of making the Frenchy, Rizzo and Eric Clapton rendezvous real.
What were the solutions?
In conceiving the setting for such a romance, the project came to light through considering the following influences; mirages, the specificity of the Californian desert, the otherworldly flora of Joshua Tree and the comforting American diner. These references have been interpreted in the design through the following elements:
Colour in this project was not just a consequence of a material choice. It was a decision founded on interpreting the references above to create a place of unique and specific identity.
A Welcoming Destination – Designing with People in Mind
Fusing the iconic and the welcoming were achieved by focusing on people. Dense seating was located next to the corner windows, providing views to and between people. The main entrance and service window are highlighted to invite and facilitate wayfinding. A variety of atmospheres were achieved by fixed and loose seating differentiated by the trees, giving diners choice around where to perch, sit for a date or settle in and dwindle the night away.
The project needed announce BLC to passing pedestrians and cars. Colour was used strategically to create points of attraction such as the front entry, takeaway side window and corner illuminated signage, signalling BLC is waiting to serve the neighbourhood.
Doing It All Within A Finite Budget
This was the first retail venture of our young clients. We needed to provide them with a fantastic design solution that meet their aspirations, was enjoyed by the community and created a functional working environment all within a modest budget.