The Design Team: Sean Ryan, Nicole Smith and Leah Symes.
Sean, Nicole and Leah were the Irish Pub Company designers appointed to the Irish Whiskey Museum project.
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The Irish Pub Company developed a truly innovative design concept for the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin, executing the design, build and fit-out for Murphy’s Victorian Café, McDonald’s Bar and Café, the Retail Space and the Tasting Bar making the Irish Whiskey Museum a must see attraction in Ireland.
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The Irish Whiskey Museum Design Concept
The concept is a fusion of old and new: bric a brac elements sit side by side with Interactive talking Victorian Portraits that educate visitors on the history of Whiskey.
The design team at the Irish Pub Company and McNally Design took inspiration from the product itself, whiskey, and the location of the Museum, Dublin, developing a design intent and palette of colours and materials which influenced the entire concept.
Nicole Smith led the team on the colour inspiration for the concept: “Our aim was to mix warm rich wood textures and colours with the existing exposed structural elements and natural architecture of the building. We therefore suggested the partnership of the Organic, the natural ingredients of whiskey and the Industrial, the warehouses & Vats where it is distilled. Both hallmarks of classic Irish whiskey.
Shades of Amber Yellow and Gold convey warmth, and an emotional connection of the senses to nature, the sun, memories and the traditions of the past, all these elements were very important to us when developing the concept.”
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Irish Whiskey Museum Design Details from the Irish Pub Company
The space incorporated iconic Irish Styles such as Victorian and Modern Irish in a design approach that surprises throughout. The team ensured that Irish whiskey was brought to life throughout the entire design; “We wanted to use bottles and displays to bring the natural colours of Irish whiskey to life within the space. The colour of each whiskey comes out of the natural tones of the wood casks it is stored in, transforming it into the colour it is, from a pale straw to deep rich brown. We wanted to convey the warmth of the colours of whiskey and importantly include opportunities to display the products throughout.” Leah Symes, Irish Pub Company and McNally Design.
Conveying the surrounding area of Dublin and its rich history and past within the design was achieved through the use artwork and original wall murals. Indeed, Sean Ryan of the Irish Pub Company is credited with creating the hand drawn wallpaper depicting scenes of Dublin.
Conveying Ireland and the importance of Irish craftsmanship throughout the history of Irish whiskey was achieved through the intricate Irish handcrafted joinery throughout the concept. The stunning curved tasting bar, stable door effect bar in the Café and the retail displays to name a few. The creative joinery design of Sean, Leah and Nicole was realised through stunningly accurate joinery. The use of quality Irish Craftsmanship was very important to the design team’s concept.
The team at the Irish Pub Company knew we had to work with the best facilitators and suppliers from around the world to execute the truly authentic and innovative design concept that was created by our team. Sean Ryan on the design team at the Irish Pub Company decided to work with Jonah Ward, an artist from the USA, on art pieces for the tasting bar at the Irish Whiskey Museum. In his Glass Burned Panel series, Jonah creates different wood panels stamped with tar-like paint, printed with abstract designs and meanderings; the panels are scarred with burns and create impressive art installations.
“We were immediately struck by the strong visual impact of Jonah’s artwork and the extremely original process of creating it,” states Seán Ryan, designer at the Irish Pub Company. “The hallmark of classic Irish whiskey is the partnership of the natural ingredients and the industrial wooden barrels and Vats that are scorched within. In Jonah’s artwork the fluid lines created by molten glass against the natural timber grain we felt conveyed this perfectly.”
An outstanding design feature is a custom made LED Feature lighting display in the museum’s tasting room which adds to the drama of the tasting bar. A 14 metre wide LED feature wall composed of twelve 1.2m LED panels allows diffused backlighting to glow throughout the space. The LED feature, which is recessed behind shelving, emits a warm amber colour to complement the whiskey bottle display.
Sean Ryan, designer on the Irish Whiskey Museum project “I am very happy with the finished result of the whiskey wall, it conveys exactly what I intended with the design concept. Many people have commented on how great the effect is and how much it adds to the tasting bar.”