Isshin Izakaya sits on a busy corner on Bay Street, Port Melbourne. Our brief was to create a simple flexible solution for the restaurant and bar. Beautifully detailed “Japanese boxes” were inserted into the space, acting as semi-private dining rooms, contrasting with the industrial shell of the existing tenancy.
The materials used are burnt timber cladding, polished concrete, clear stained Victorian Ash, and a rich red fabric.
Photos by Jack Lovel
Heart of Hall
The Heart of Hall is a cafe and cooking school in the heart of Newport in Melbourne’s west.
The challenge was to develop a concept which would achieve the balance between the cafe, cooking school and retail components of the space without complicating the message. Well resolved planning and the selection of materials and fittings were important in achieving this balance.
El Atino is a restaurant and foodstore dedicated to Latin cuisine from around the world. The brief from the client was to create a clear delineation and a balance between these two aspects. The starting point is the two custom made light fittings in the front window; each one signifying the two sides of the business.
The “shadows” of colour within the space are projected from each of these fittings casting shapes deep into the space; raw and stripped back on one side, and solid and painted on the other. The strength and graphic nature of the colours and raw materials reflect the clients’ philosophy.
Our Prahran Restaurant is currently in Design Development.
Duck Duck Goose
The brief required two distinct elements: a fine dining area to serve Eastern-influenced French cuisine, and a more casual environment for a Chinese menu. We provided two distinct halves and diverse experiences for patrons. The "dark side" of the French restaurant is a tranquil yet theatrical setting. The entry, via a silver leaf ribbed tunnel, opens dramatically to a luxurious environment with pressed metal ceilings, polished glass, metallic wall finishes, soft metallic gold curtains and a black reflective pool. In the "light side" for Chinese cuisine, blond timber and white stone provide an airy and soft setting that is markedly more casual and yet elegant.
For the redevelopment of the Botanical our intention was to design distinct spaces, each with a different mood but unified within a visually linked progression of spaces.
The planning of the Botanical has provided very clear circulation with long axial views to the park opposite. Views are maintained from one space to the next. A series of screening devices mediate the view whilst creating a sense of discrete space. Elements within the venue reinforce this axial planning. The lighting, for example, is clear and directional. Mirror has been used to reinforce and extend the perception of space.
The palette of materials was selected to suggest casual sophistication. Stone, simple painted surfaces and timber detailing instil a modern aesthetic without being plush or formal. The colour palette is neutral to highlight the views to the rich greens of the Botanical Gardens opposite. Timber lining is zoned into dark areas at the rear of the restaurant and light around the open kitchen and dispense bar.
The Bubble Bar at the rear of the venue is a darker, more luxurious cocktail bar. The colour palette is rich greens and golds. Printed fabrics have a botanical motif.
The restaurant sits 150 diners within the main space, with a further 20 in the private dining room. The main bar caters for 100 and the Bubble Cocktail Bar is an intimate space for 40 people. The street bar facing the Botanical Gardens can seat a further 50 people and is used as spill out space for the restaurant.
The graphics throughout by Mahon and Band are also derived from botanical themes.The Botanical is a refined expression of a richly textured modernism.
We designed Bar Commercio for the café premises in the new Economics and Commerce Building, University of Melbourne. We worked closely with Milmarin P/L to design a unique, cutting-edge lounge and cafe facility to reflect the culture of the Economics and Commerce faculty. Information systems linked to the department were an important element of the design.
Focusing on simple, natural materials, embedding ESD principles and practice into the design and operation of the café, Bar Commercio has been designed to become the social hub at the University’s newest faculty building.
The Press Club
The Press Club is a restaurant and bar located in the old printing hall of the Herald and Weekly Times building. The restaurant is designed for the modern Greek cuisine of TV chef George Calombaris.
Our brief was to create a space which referenced Greek culture. We derived our inspiration from the burnt orange colours of classical Greek earthenware. The Press Club received a High Commendation in the Interior Design Awards - Hospitality Interior Design 2007 and a Certificate of Recognition in the IDEA Awards 2007.
River Deck Albury
The River Deck Café sits on the bank of the Murray River in Albury’s Noreuil Park, raised up above the flood plain. A mixed use cafe and function space, it was designed as a space for the changing seasons. The façade opens up in summer to an open deck and in winter the internal space and open fire becomes a focal point. Buro designed the interior of this space to reflect the business philosophy of the client; open, simple and natural.
Kenzan is a small, finely crafted Japanese restaurant space seating 60 diners located in one of Melbourne’s busy lanes.
Our inspiration was the beautiful craftsmanship of Japanese joinery. The main display counter is conceived as two distinct but interconnected forms, representing the precise care of Japanese carpentry.
Deakin University Cafe
This 100-seat cafe is an important catering and function space for Deakin University's Geelong Technology Precinct building. The colours and materials chosen are earthy and natural; reflecting the cafe's dedication to fair-trade produce.
This 56 room boutique hotel was created in association with Hecker Phelan and Guthrie. The base building is a beautiful example of Shanghai’s 1920s’ architecture and the refurbishment re-establishes the hotel as one of the significant buildings in the precinct. The hotel's public spaces are relaxed and contemporary. The palette is predominantly of natural materials: stained timber panels, stone, textured leathers and fabrics. Signature furniture pieces and contemporary lighting create comfortable and welcoming interiors. Subtly patterned fabrics, wallpapers and rugs enrich the otherwise minimalist colour palette. The overall effect is of a series of distinctive and personal spaces.