Bucks Bistro

  • 2021

The client bought the premises with the intention of opening a restaurant, beachside in Bucklands Beach, East Auckland.
Sitting somewhere between a restaurant and café, the brief was to provide a local gathering point serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a takeout window for coffee, ice cream and takeaway food. A place where people could drop in for a drink, a casual meal or pick up a a coffee whilst out dog walking.
The client also wanted to acknowledge the area’s history in the design, Bucklands Beach or Te Komiti was populated by Ngai Tai until the Musket wars. More recently in the early 1900’s Alfred Buckland farmed the land, his livestock including ostriches.
Using the cultural significance of the location as a starting point and in reference to those who inhabited the land previously, the bar was envisioned as a pounamu-like material, the large slabs of green marble (Indian Green Imperial) was the closest matching green stone that could be found. This continues from the back wall of the bar to the fireplace plinth and helps to center the space with its solidity. The pounamu green also references the seaside location and breaks up the predominantly white painted space with a bold jewel-tone finish.

Bucks Bistro, Interior Design
Hospitality design, Sam Elliot

The highly polished green marble of the bar and fireplace plinth stands out in an otherwise restrained colour scheme of white and timber, punctuated by the rough and ready finish of the brick wall behind the fireplace and maitre’d station. The bricks were a serendipitous discovery, uncovered during construction as part of the original building. It was decided to keep the bricks as a feature in keeping with the heritage angle of the design and to add more bricks behind the fireplace as a fireproof matching wall. The bricks help balance out the neutral colour scheme and give some tactility to the design.

Bucks Bistro, Interior Design
Bucks Bistro, Interior Design
Fireplace design
Bucks Bistro, Interior Design
Bucks Bistro, Interior Design

A further heritage touch are the ostrich feathers which have been incorporated into the hanging floral arrangement above the maitre’d station, referencing Alfred and his ostrich farming.

Bucks Bistro Design

A clean finish to the ceiling was chosen, without hanging pendants or plants, so as not to interrupt the view and crowd the space. White painted batten walls hark back to the seaside vibe and keep the interior fresh, airy and encourages the sun to bounce around in the space.