A jazz bar embodies the music played within it, moving the audience and capturing the environment in a beat; ‘boom boom bah’.
Jasper’s is a live jazz bar that was developed from a love of both music and whiskey, a match that Jasper himself is eager to share with his clientele. A desire for a venue that could have both live music and a live bar was required to deliver this duality of experiences.
This was achieved by approaching the design of spaces as a theatrical play, highlighting specific areas and using the constriction of room space to the advantage of time pressure, building intimate spaces that lead people on a journey through a very specific narrative.
A story was developed that treated spatial elements as scenes, guiding the user on a very specific journey. This narrative highlights the connection between performance and play, interaction and connection and movement and light.
In the beginning (Part 1) the audience is invited into a space through a dark entrance, mystifying and enclosing with a simple greeting.
Part 2 holds a bar where mixologists wow and amaze through far flung bostons, creating tension with each spin. This space focuses on treating the audience to a show with service that exudes Melbourne’s hospitality scene.
Part 3 delivers a climatic finale of musical instrumentation, delivered by renowned artists and red brick backdrops. The acoustic treatments and lighting accompany and support the performances to catapult the audience into a musical movement.
However like a stage show, endings can be beginnings and scenes may interchange and swap building deliberately dynamic and active environments.
The narrative leads the design in creating a mise en scene in both main rooms; one where the bartenders are the performers and one where the musicians are. These two stages are highlighted with light and shadow, creating depth in the set and providing subtle movement.
The bar is mirrored to highlight the existing arches within the performance space, and red brick is featured as the raw material of the building. Jasper’s collection of Jazz photos and posters are strategically placed to highlight arches, entrances and seating areas.
The exterior courtyard is designed with greenery against the existing red brick that develops a literal green room for artists and audience to connect in.
Music is a cultural connector and jazz holds a place within the live music scene that is visceral and long lived. From the roots in blues and ragtime to the exiting 1920’s, and now to the re-imagined modern jazz of today, music venues have always played a major part in a musician’s journey and the cultural fabric of a city.
Jasper’s was created to support and build a modern theatrical expression of Melbourne’s jazz scene and has already hosted major musicians including James Morrison.
Creating a space for music, bar and connection could only be achieved once the essence of the notes, the hospitality and the stage show are fully explored.