The Bay Hotel

Studio Y

Originally built as a bank in 1889, the Bay Hotel stands proudly on Mornington’s Main Street. After years of neglect and some eyebrow-raising reincarnations, Studio Y was contracted to create a thoughtful adaptation which would bring some historical flair to the “traditional Australian pub”.

The client for the project, originally from Ireland, was nostalgic for pubs that were warm and cozy, layered with eclectic findings and complete with hidden nooks and larger open spaces. Inspired by the cosy ambience of traditional Irish pubs, the brief focused on sympathetically restoring the historic building whilst creating a contemporary local favourite for the community with a welcoming atmosphere.

In creating a traditional-feeling pub interior, originality was the key by revealing the true bones of the building. In thoughtful tribute to the trades of the times, traditional elements of tessellated floor tiles, gold leafing signage and custom leadlight windows were added alongside the contemporary craftsmanship of the builder’s timberwork and lighting consultants ability to create a warm ambient glow throughout.

Conjuring up notions of childhood fantasies, a hole was cut in the existing brick wall to reveal the long-encrypted bank vault which has been reimagined into a charming private six-seater nook. Custom spine-wall joinery runs through the 360-degree bar while the band room has been given an understated yet elegant revamp that in turn provides Mornington with its only late-night dance floor.


Furniture: Tuckbox Design, James Richardson Furniture. Lighting: Ambience Lighting, Edison Light Globes. Finishes: Scanlan and Makers, RC+D, Adadaz, Uppercase Studio.


Photography: James Geer