Four Pillars' Laboratory: A Sensory Journey into Gin Culture

Surry Hills, Sydney – Nestled in a heritage-listed two-storey brick building dating back to 1939, once home to the Bussell Brothers tea company, Four Pillars’ Laboratory emerges as a beacon of innovation in both design and spirit.
This iconic landmark, steeped in history and situated on Surry Hills’ gourmet and retail strip, now houses a captivating blend of a gin shop and a sophisticated cocktail haven known as Eileen’s Bar.


At street level, passers-by are drawn in by a striking glass façade framed in black steel, inviting them into a world where timber reigns supreme. Inside, the space is adorned with a rich mix of Australian hardwoods, meticulously crafted into custom joinery that showcases the diverse range of Four Pillars gin products. From gin-infused marmalade to artisan chocolates, every corner exudes an aura of craftsmanship and refinement.

One of the highlights of the space is the Point of Sale (POS), a masterpiece carved from rare Australian Red Cedar stumps, seamlessly blending functionality with elegance. Grooved timber blocks elegantly secure bottles of gin, allowing for impromptu tasting sessions that transform the shop into a dynamic cellar door experience. Meanwhile, a halo of Cambia Ash conceals track lighting, casting a captivating glow over the Gin Lab, where enthusiasts can delve into the art of distillation and cocktail crafting.

Ascending the ‘juniper berry blue’ stairs, visitors are greeted by Eileen, a gleaming 70L German engineered Carl copper still, proudly displayed behind curved brick bunding. The staircase, clad in charcoal Portuguese cork panels, not only enhances acoustics but also serves as a versatile canvas for internal advertising.

Within Eileen’s Bar, the ambiance is intimate and inviting, with dimly lit surroundings accentuated by raw timber joists and salvaged floors, echoing the building’s storied past. As patrons settle into banquette seating, they are enveloped by the warmth of micro-cement rendered walls, adorned with rammed earth-like textures that pay homage to Four Pillars’ copper-toned logo.

Four Pillars’ Laboratory is more than just a bar and gin shop; it’s a sensory journey that celebrates the artistry and passion behind Australia’s craft gin movement. With its meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Surry Hills’ architectural and culinary landscape.

Images by Anson Smart via ArchDaily

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