Archives for posts with tag: design

“Fine dining meets rock ‘n’ roll” was the concept for the conversion of a chapel in a former military hospital. Sounds incongruous? Absolutely. The result is anything but, seamlessly mixing luxe materials with a sense of morbid humour. Piet Boon Studio’s restaurant design for The Jane preserved the original chapel ceiling while creating a highly unique and contemporary dining space below. The centrepiece is the 800kg chandelier, custom made by .PS lab, a precarious piece that adds movement and directionality to the formally styled tables below. Watch the ‘making of’ video to see how the studio realised such an ambitious design.

The windows of the chapel have been replaced by stained glass, but again, it’s not the expected images of religious figures and biblical symbols. Designed by Studio Job, 500 panels show off a vivid, tattoo-style assortment of imagery – a bizarre and humorous mix ranging from gas masks to birthday cakes to penguins.

However, The Jane’s design doesn’t play novelty at the cost of functionality. The materials – natural stone, oak and leather – are made to age. Subdued in tone, they don’t seek to draw attention away from the more exuberant features of the space but instead to add complexity and sophistication to the dining experience. Elegance and irreverence. Stained glass and tattoo art. Like fine dining and rock ‘n’ roll: they shouldn’t work, but they do.

Photo: Richard Powers

Photo: Richard Powers

Photo: Richard Powers

For more images and details see Piet Boon Studio, Yatzer & Archdaily.


The latest addition to the Pablo and Rusty coffee empire spills golden light onto the city street – located in Sydney’s first 6-star green powered building, high-tech is countered by the industrial and authentic vibe of the interior. With high ceilings, timber finishes and exposed brick, it manages to be both grand and familiar. The highlight is the custom-made brass geometric pendant lighting which becomes the glowing focal point of the space. Read an interview with the designers from Giant Design at Yellowtrace.

The unique design of El Equipo Creativo‘s Restaurante Pakta finds its inspiration in a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian traditions. Pakta means union in the Quechua language, and this concept is reflected through the duality of the two main sections of the restaurant. The delicacy of the lines that enlace the ceiling and walls and the Latin American informed use of vibrant colour provides a direct link to traditional Peruvian craftsmanship in fabric-weaving, while the bar area at the front is a clear reference to the austerity of Japanese architectural principles. The linearity of the design creates movement and visual interest within an otherwise small space, and the kitchen is incorporated into the dining experience as a luminous box, where the chefs can seen through glass panels of various opacity.

Eclectic and opulent, Luchetti Krelle’s design for Ananas Bar & Brasserie is a rich merging of old world colonial style and art nouveau detailing. The pineapple motif runs through the design, reappearing in the lighting and tiling. Furnishings sourced from Parisian markets and antique stores mix with bespoke upholstery and custom furniture, creating a quirky sense of French vintage glamour.

New York design firm AvroKO has inverted the steakhouse formula to create an contemporary, urban space inspired by the butcher’s shop rather than the old-fashioned saloon. Lightbulbs hang from antique meat hooks and cleavers decorate the walls, creating a strong conceptual link between the meals and their origins. The colours are subdued, setting off the arrangements of bright green grass on each table, while textured finishes and oblique lighting adds depth and an underground edge to the space.

photos: AvroKO

The romanticism of coffee machines inspired Haldane Martin’s design for Truth Coffee in Cape Town. With the building stripped back to its essential structure and the grand machinery of a vintage coffee roaster as its centrepiece, the space perfectly pairs the steampunk aesthetic with modern industrial style. Details such as the interconnected metal pipes between tables and stools and the pressed metal panels complement the bold colour palette of red and olive. See more images at Haldane Martin.

Lush wildflower fields clash with eerily symmetrical architectural prints in Mary Katrantzou’s Resort 2014 collection. Where fashion is serving us such a monochromatic palette these couple of seasons it’s refreshing to see such an intense extravaganza of colour. Enjoy the whole collection on

Also playing on the contrast between architecture and nature is the collaboration of Eden Floral Design and Becasse, where sprawling vines take over stark traditional interiors. It’s interesting that the introduction of uncontrolled nature in a formal space creates either a sense of restfulness or tension, it brings dynamism and life to a static environment. More photos at Pulch Photography.

This place makes walking the fine line between nostalgia and modernity look effortless. Shortlisted for this year’s Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, the Marylebone location is the perfect mix of Spanish traditional design with a spaciousness that makes it seem both established and contemporary. Eclectic collections of ceramics and books line the walls of the smaller rooms, while sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the main bar area reflects off patterned tiles. Barcelona-based Lázaro Rosa-Violán’s other projects can be seen here, many of which are becoming my favourite spaces with their filmic quality and retro detailing.

photos: iberica food & culture ltd.

Tonality and texture are key at Potts Point’s modern Greek restaurant the Apollo. Designed by Sydneysider George Livissianis, the simple colour palette highlights the craftsmanship of the wood, marble and textile finishes and the rawness of the existing building. Drawing inspiration from the rustic coastal towns of the Mediterranean, Livissianis has used the arched windows and stripped back walls to create a feeling of sunlight and age. But it’s not just the same modern furnishings/old building combination, there’s a definite responsiveness to the look and history of Greece – the bright pink subtly used as a feature is derived from old newsprints, traditional dress and signage.

Read in-depth interviews with the designer at ArchitectureAU and Yellowtrace.

Photos: Scott Needham

The Urodid moth spins an incredible open-net cocoon around its pupa not for beauty but for survival. While the weave may seem more vulnerable to predators, the benefits are numerous: more airflow which prevents the formation of fungus and mould, no catchment of rainfall which could result in drowning and a structure that makes it harder for ants to feed on the pupa.

Also, MIT researchers recently constructed an ethereal-looking geodesic dome inspired and constructed by the figure-eight spinning patterns of silkworms. Watch it in HD, it’s worth it. It’s amazing to see natural and artificial construction techniques combine to create something beautiful and ephemeral.