The winner of the 2014 Fine Brandy. Bar Design Initiative is Pretoria furniture designer, Peet van Straaten. His creation was unveiled in life-size format at Design Indaba.
This was the culmination of a 12-month search for the best design, which included several leading names in the South African design industry who competed for the R50,000 prize money.
Shelley Ellse, Distell Brandy Category Marketing Manager and Peet van Straaten Furniture Designer and winning bar designer
New experience for the brandy drinker
Fine Brandy. By Design, a collection of award-winning potstill brandies, namely Oude Meester Demant, Van Ryn's 12-Year-Old Distillers Reserve, Klipdrift Gold, Flight of the Fish Eagle and Collison's White Gold, will be served neat and in cocktails from the bar.
Van Straaten's bar, consisting of two pods, aims to elevate the experience for the brandy drinker to a level of installation art. "It uses social media elements to turn the bar into a contemporary and elegant space more akin to a national pavilion or exhibition space, where people socialise, build pride in and learn more about the spirit," explained Van Straaten.
Pictures taken of patrons at the bar will be posted on social media channels as well as physically hung on the stand. "The more people visit the bar, the more the pictures will fill up the pod, reminiscent of a glass filling up," said the designer.
The bar "is a celebration of excellence and is an acknowledgement of the individuals that make the distinguished choices to support Fine Brandy. In celebrating the heritage and excellence of the spirit, this design intends to instil pride and bring understanding in brandy's living legacy that is carried by its custodians and patrons.
Finer things in life
"I design to create something of meaning, with tangible quality, something that will be around for a long time, much like crafting a potstill brandy. The bar gives brandy drinkers the opportunity to interact as part of a group who enjoy the finer things in life - from what is in their glass to the design of the environment in which they are savouring their drink," he concludes.
With Cape Town named as World Design Capital 2014, the bar design competition gave designers additional motivation to create a world-class design experience.
"We are seeking to change perception of brandy as an after-dinner drink to one that is recognised as an international award-winning spirit that is versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways," said Fine Brandy. By Design marketing manager, Caroline Scott.
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