Handmade fluted ceramic tiles, pink blown-glass lighting and tropical patterned fabrics all feature in this Atlanta bar and restaurant by local architecture firm Smith Hanes Studio.
Atrium opened earlier this year inside Ponce City Market, located in the city’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood northeast of Downtown.
The mixed-use development contains a variety of restaurants and retailers, and occupies a converted, historic Sears building.
Atrium’s interiors by Smith Hanes Studio combine rich tones of green, pink and gold to create spaces that feel simultaneously moody, whimsical and tropical.
“The design was inspired by colorful French cafes and Art Deco buildings,” said studio founder Smith Hanes. “The lines, colours, shapes and patterns are fascinating, unafraid and daring.”
The establishment is split over two main rooms: The Parlor and The Bistro.
The Parlor accommodates a 1,200-square-foot (110-square-metre) cocktail lounge, where the front of the bar counter and a large column behind are clad in emerald green ceramic tiles handmade by local artisan Charlotte Smith.
“Similar to the name Atrium, the tiles were inspired by Roman columns and architecture,” she said. “A translucent glaze was applied to accentuate dimension with the pooling of rich colour.”
Liquor is displayed in open cabinets with decorative rounded tops, also painted green to contrast the pink shade that covers the remaining walls, ceiling, ductwork and pipes.
The terrazzo bar countertop, also flecked with pink, curves around to a seating area where banquettes tuck into each corner on either side of a fireplace that has a floral installation.
A hand-painted wall mural by Savannah-based artist Kipper Millsap depicts a flock of ibis birds in flight and is lit by fringed sconces imported from Spain.
“When I heard that Kipper was painting murals of these glossy ibis from South Africa, I designed a mossy landscape at the fireplace to abstractly house these cool birds,” said floral designer Skye Lind.
From The Parlor, arched openings lead through to a bright lounge that is populated by soft, casual seating atop green and white floor tiles.
More arches on the other side provide access into The Bistro — a dining area with mottled green walls and a striped diagonal pattern applied over its wood flooring.
Dusty-pink banquettes and deep-teal love seats surround dark wooden tables, which are also paired with matching chairs for smaller parties.
Hand-blown pink glass sconces supported by brass arms cantilever over the tables, giving off a warm glow. Further lighting is provided by green cloche-shaped pendants with bronze undersides.
These are suspended from the 12-foot (3.7-metre) ceiling among an installation of vines and hanging plants, also by Lind, who founded local florist Pinker Times.
“Thousands of pieces of florals and foliage are suspended in the air,” Lind said. “Composed like a piece of music, the art installation moves harmoniously around the room to celebrate the culinary experience at Atrium.”
The verdant theme is also continued in patterns across floor-to-ceiling curtains that drape across the entire back wall.
“The dining experience at Atrium is reminiscent of a garden party where you’re free to enjoy yourself among the unique natural beauty of each petal and branch,” said the team.
Smith Hanes Studio was founded in Atlanta in 2004, then opened a New York office in 2020. Best known for its hospitality projects, the firm also collaborated with R&A on the Woodlark Hotel in Portland.
Atlanta’s culinary scene has been on the rise for some time. In 2019, we rounded up five bars and restaurants with impressive interiors in the city, including a snug club by Workstead and a cocktail lounge by Tom Dixon.
The photography is by Tim Lenz.
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