Long Chim was design by Michael Patroni and Space Agency. Handwerk delivered the cabinetry, shelving, bars, other finishing touches.
Space Agency developed an intricate, detail-orientated design which incorporated many exotic materials and finishes. Handwerk is always keen to work with eco-friendly materials, and are passionate about recycling and reusing materials, and this job gave us an opportunity to do just that.
All the bar tops are made from eco-friendly Australian-made Paperock – a unique material made from resin and recycled paper. It is completely waterproof, comparably strong to stone or concrete, yet has a light texture. With a light coat of oil this material really shines. It also ages well – any scratches and wear and tear only add to its patina / character. Handwerk is the preferred West Australian installer for Paperock.
The front of the Long Chim bar is clad in all brass panel – the architect specified aged brass. We spent days experimenting with countless chemicals before we finally hit upon the perfect ‘brass-ageing solution’. Both architect and builder were delighted, and we applied our secret potion to all the panels – a great example of typical Handwerk problem solving.
To keep the noise of this busy restaurant at bay, we built and installed accoustic ceiling panels throughout, all made in eco-friendly Autex Cube. If you have been to Long Chim and not noticed these panels – then we’ve done our job well, as these meticulously placed panels were designed to blend in, unnoticed.
A particular highlight of this job was building the curved velvet lounges in the VIP room. Paired with Thai Graffiti Artist Alex Face’s art on the walls, they make the VIP room truly spectacular. Be sure to check it out at the back of the main dining room next time you are there.
Handwerk also crafted the leather bench seat in the front bar, and the main outside seating area (made from recycled ironbark). Ironbark is incredibly hard timber, so can be more challenging to work with, but has excellent properties for continual outdoor use, so it was the timber of choice. The black strips in the timber benches were achieved by ebonising – an age-old woodworking technique. We soaked steel wool in lots of white vinegar and brushed that onto the timber . The tannins react and the timber turns black. Add some exterior oil and – voila – you have a very cool design feature.
The Long Chim project had a very short build time and, with everything having to come through the same door into the basement, contractors were all scrambling to get things done. Handwerk delivered our part ahead of schedule, and then helped out where we could to get this project over line on time.
An example of Handwerk helping out were we could to get this job completed: A big stainless steel handle had gotten lost in transit but a handle needed to be fitted urgently for the official handover. We quickly whipped up a replacement made from timber (what else?!) and the client was so impressed they decided to replace all stainless ones with our handles!
We also got commissioned to decorate the walls with arty and religious items the owners had brought over from Thailand. Additionally, many other things were made by Handwerk during the build to ensure the project was delivered to the best spec possible.
We enjoyed every minute of working on this iconic and inspiring Perth project, and urge you to visit Long Chim for some incredible Thai food (and to check out the bar, bench seating, and velvet sofas!).