Fine Brandy. By Design unveils their best brandy bar design winner

by Karisa

Of course Fine Brandy cocktails to celebrate was a must…

As part of the Design Indaba excitement last week, I was also invited to go and check out the unveiling of Fine Brandy. By Design‘s brandy bar design competition winner.

We gathered around a big black curtain inside the CTICC exhibition hall, brandy cocktails in hand, waiting in anticipation for the big reveal…

This was set to be the grand finale after months and month of searching SA for the best brandy bar design.  Entries came from all corners and included both established & up-and-coming designers.  These entries were then whittled down to a top 10, followed by a top 3, and finally only one designer could come out victorious (and walk away with a sweet R50 000).

The winning design came from Pretoria-based furniture designer, Peet van Straaten.  Peet says he’s been on a 16-year creative journey which culminated with his furniture design company, Raw Studios, which he started back in 2005.

Peet wanted to design a bar that elevated the experience for the brandy drinker to a level of installation art.  He wanted to create something of meaning & quality, something that will be around for a long time, much like the process of crafting a great potstill brandy.

The result?  Well let’s have a look shall we:

Peet here with Shelley Ellse (Marketing Manager for Fine Brandy) and Bryan Slingers (Chairman at Bester Burke Slingers)

The design consisted of two “pods” with a bar in the centre…

It also included a social media element in that photos taken at the bar were printed out and hung up in the bar. The more people came to visit, the more photo’s were hung up and this is supposed to represent the filling of a glass.  And finally there were display areas where we could learn about some special brandy vintages…

I loved all the wooden elements and the general light feel of the bar.  It felt very “Cape Town”, even though Peet is from Pretoria.  Maybe it has something to do with the few years he spent living & learning in Rotterdam…

Now what also made me happy was that the two runner-up positions went to two very proudly Capetonian folks:

Yolandi Kotze – who was only a final year Interior design student at the Cape Peninsular University of Technology at the time she submitted her design.  Yolandi wanted to create a bar which emulated the look of brandy being swivelled in a glass, and this is a little peek into what her bar would’ve looked like:

Visualisation designer Ryan Roberts from Roberts Creative wanted to focus on modularity and his design consisted of various bar modules which could be arranged in any which way you needed:

Both very cool ideas as well hey?  I would’ve loved to see their designs in real life too, but a BIG congrats to Peet though.  His bar really was something and after a quick browse of his Raw Studios website, I’ve fallen in love with many of his other pieces too.

I also have to say thanks to the team at Fine Brandy. By Design for letting me celebrate the big reveal with them, but most importantly for supporting local design in such a great way. With Cape Town named the World Design Capital 2014, this is exactly the kind of design celebration we want to see…

From left to right: Ryan (runner up), Peet (winner) & Yolandi (runner up)


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