Its $10 million dollar transformation is all part of the King William Street redevelopment in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. This exquisite restoration has brought a new lease of life to the three-storey site which has remained in a dormant state for the past 20 years.
Designed by Studio 9 Architects with the assistance of interior designer Danielle Elia, the 700 person capacity venue features a unique experience on each floor in which Schiavello Construction completed the heritage refurbishment and interior construction. Ground level is home to the Electra Bar and one of the city’s largest beer gardens, with feature timber decking, marble bars and a multitude of bespoke seating. This connects to the upper levels via a newly constructed external staircase made of seven tons of steel, glass and aluminum composite panels.
The first floor is occupied by a Modern Greek restaurant – OLEA, which is flooded with white on blonde timber. The floor also has its own outdoor terrace, commercial kitchen and private office space. The top level accommodates two loft-inspired private function spaces; each taking inspiration from New York’s West Side and East Side and features exposed original brickwork and steelwork within the eight-metre high, mansard roof. The layout is completed with office and storage space in an exposed brick basement.
“Being heritage listed, the entire building first needed to be structurally re-engineered and re-enforced”, says Schiavello Senior Project Manager, Petar Vukjajlovic. The building also maintains many of its original fixtures including external classical Corinthian columns, six-metre high ceilings with stepped cornices, ornate pillars, heritage wall panelling, tessellated tiles, and timber ceilings and balustrades – both of which were restored to original condition within the internal stairwell.
Schiavello Construction worked closely with Heritage SA to overcome infrastructure concerns, including ventilation issues that arose with the late addition of a charcoal kitchen on level two. “Reticulating ductwork and exhausting fumes required significant planning, design, structural suspension and coordination”, says Mr Vukjajlovic. The basement was also the source of significant challenges, after a nearby tower development pushed the water table out, resulting in the area flooding. Schiavello worked closely with the architects and engineers to find a solution which involved adding drainage pipe work and a pump station. New lifts, building services and a roof top plant room were also added to the site.
“To be able to work on a heritage building alongside professionals such as Studio 9 and Schiavello, ensured the usual road blocks which appear on any building site, were dealt with professionally and efficiently”, says Ms Elia. The grand scale, Electra House is a luxurious addition to one of Adelaide’s finest dining precincts, and is sure to impress discerning patrons.