Image Credit : Photographer: Andrew Worssam Photography https://worssamphotography.com/





Project Overview

Sole Tattoo Gallery is a bold new concept to exhibit the talents of various artists of different styles in a showroom-like setting, subverting the stereotypical aesthetics of traditional tattoo parlours. At the heart of our design is the humble sunflower, which is brought together with the art of tattooing through our exploration of pointillism and repetitive dot patterns. As a sunflower takes in the sun's warmth, Sole Tattoo Gallery furthers that notion, spreading joy throughout Sydney’s Inner West.

Project Commissioner

Sole Tattoo Gallery

Project Creator

Vie Studio


Fitout: Gear Projects
Florals: V by Vie

Project Brief

Sole Tattoo Gallery is a new addition to Marrickville Metro, providing tattoo services in an exciting way. We were tasked to create a space that would be optimal for cross-collaboration between a rotation of tattoo artists. The core mission of this brand was to cultivate a space that embraced the art of tattooing while also welcoming customers of all genders and lifestyles. Additionally, the store would also feature a gallery space for tattoo designs. As a practice that is generally reserved for traditional art, this act of showcasing elevates the practice of tattooing, as we choose to appreciate the process as the art form that it is.

Project Innovation/Need

The overlap between the tattoo parlour and the gallery space is an under-explored area, and our spatial store design required creative planning. For a space that highly values collaboration, we needed to look past the tattoo industry to see how we could create a flexible layout. We replaced walls and partitions with hanging curtains, and we incorporated movable tattoo beds to allow artists to co-work and collaborate easily.

This idea of artistic collaboration circles back to the imagery of the sunflower. Drawing visual inspiration from the iconic sunflowers of Van Gogh, we reconceptualised the artwork within our current modern context. The overall visual aesthetic of Sole Tattoo Gallery unpacks the sunflower; the suspended sunflower pattern in LED neon around the columns and splashes of trademark yellow communicate a sense of bold playfulness while maintaining a personality of warmth and invitation. The result of these visual motifs embraces unconventional artistry, a feat that is particularly relevant for the tattoo industry.

Design Challenge

The creation of a hybrid tattoo studio and gallery space is unique, and we were left to imagine how this might look. This new concept challenged us to explore the idea of a flexible spatial design more boldly; the gallery display, tattoo beds and waiting areas needed to be movable and adaptable. As we worked to unpack this matter, we were constantly cognisant of designing for comfort. As part of our desire to dismantle the unwelcoming space of traditional tattoo parlours, we wanted to create a space that anyone would feel comfortable walking into.


While the flexibility of the coworking space lends itself to a certain level of practicality, this decision was driven by our desire to adopt more sustainable practices. The lack of solid walls drove our creativity to find creative solutions for dividing the space. We chose to use fabric hanging curtains to section the tattooing lounges, which added to the airiness of the space while also being a recyclable option.

This consideration of material life extended into our usage of timber and cork. As both are more easily reusable and recyclable materials, we featured them heavily throughout the store.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation. Consideration given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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