The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar

COX Architecture with H&E Architects

Informed by the conceptual narrative of ‘Future Nostalgia,’ the design of The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar takes its cues from the building’s rich heritage, reimagined through a contemporary lens. Sitting within The Charles Plaza, an imposing and finely executed Art Deco building. The interior evokes a sense of glamour, a homage to the Interwar Period when dining in the city was a rare occasion. The design approach explores the tension and juxtaposition of a modern insertion within a heritage framework.

The Charles Grand Brasserie and Bar sits within an iconic pink Art Deco building in Sydney’s CBD. The entrance to the Brasserie is rich with heritage details, terrazzo stairs surmounted by a bronze Art Deco threshold. A contemporary brass insertion, clearly articulated from the heritage fabric, captures new doors that comply with modern safety standards. A highly crafted timber concierge desk sits within an ante space connecting the Bar and Brasserie with walls lined in layered pink curtains, a nod to the iconic façade.

The Charles Bar features dark ceilings with richly detailed timber walls and leather banquettes creating an atmosphere of escapism from the frenetic energy of the city. Filtered views through crystal decanters and wine bottles lining the windows, provide a veiled connection back to King Street.

The Grand Brasserie sits within the former Assurance Chamber, a dramatic double height space. Anchored by a central banquette in Tibero stone, blush leather and timber, diners gaze toward the open kitchen taking in the theatrics. Original black marble writing cubicles are used as waiter’s stations complemented by bespoke art by Alina Gozina. Contemporary chandeliers softly light the space and play off the inherent decorative nature of the building and interior.


Furniture: DesignByThem, Contempo & Co, Thonet. Lighting: Mobilia, Ross Gardam, RBW, A Design Studio, LightCo. Finishes: RC+D, Terra Nova, Mint Floors, Royal Stone, Thonet, Terra Nova, Royal Stone, Solis. Fittings & Fixtures: Astra Walker, Studio Henry Wilson, Mother Of Pearl.


Photography: Anson Smart