Project281 Café and Roastery

Work­ing with­in the shell of a for­mer ware­house build­ing, the fitout for the Project 218 Café embraces Brunswick­’s icon­ic indus­tri­al past to cre­ate an immer­sive hos­pi­tal­i­ty expe­ri­ence. The aban­doned ware­house con­cept pre­serves the char­ac­ter and his­to­ry of the orig­i­nal build­ing which has been grad­u­al­ly exposed over the years. It adds new ele­ments in a way that feels as if it has become nat­u­ral­ly over­grown and will con­tin­ue to do so with the pas­sage of time. From plate to fitout, the design builds on the venue’s raw, robust, sus­tain­able, and unex­pect­ed hos­pi­tal­i­ty approach.

Reclaimed by nature, the pro­gram is dis­tin­guished by dis­persed, nat­u­ral­is­tic plant­i­ngs which make evi­dent the pas­sage of time. The vast foot­print of the ware­house is bro­ken into more inti­mate din­ing areas through the accu­mu­la­tion of stacked cast con­crete forms, fash­ioned from var­i­ous sizes of pre-cast drainage sumps into sculp­tur­al dividers and planters. Along one wall, a series of met­al bars are embed­ded into the brick­work which will allow the plants to con­tin­ue to climb over time. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, the met­al is designed to grad­u­al­ly rust adding colour and tex­ture across the wall through the process of cor­ro­sion. The bench seat­ing fol­lows along the walls and sculp­tures, like tim­ber scat­tered through a build­ing site and the deep orange colour of the uphol­stery picks up on the rust­ed quality. 

Cre­at­ing a tru­ly Brunswick” din­ing expe­ri­ence, the design embraces the beau­ty of imper­fec­tion by craft­ing ele­ments from raw build­ing mate­ri­als. The café ser­vice coun­ters are made from lay­ers of poured con­crete which draw on the pat­terns exposed in floors reveal­ing stains and blem­ish­es from its man­u­fac­tur­ing past. A wall of rebar steel is formed to cre­ate a mez­za­nine area with bath­rooms tucked below. Fea­ture light­ing has been fash­ioned from off­cuts of rebar steel and large com­po­si­tions of detached lacework.

In addi­tion to adding to the strong sense of place, the design also links to the venue’s dis­tinct hos­pi­tal­i­ty con­cept which also com­bines sim­ple, raw ingre­di­ents into excep­tion­al com­po­si­tions. The approach to both the culi­nary vision and venue design is rough in nature, with an atten­tion to detail and under­ly­ing order which show care and consideration. 

Across the two lev­els is a cof­fee roast­ery, yoga space, herb gar­den, seat­ing for 120, and a large kitchen area. The lay­out pur­pose­ly includes a defined zone between the front-of-house and back-of-house to cel­e­brate the prepa­ra­tion of the food. Func­tion­al­ly con­tribut­ing to the dish­es, an herb gar­den is built into the upper-lev­el mez­za­nine which grows some of their unique components. 

Work­ing togeth­er, the inte­ri­ors and food con­cepts har­ness the raw beau­ty to cre­ate a com­fort­able, invit­ing atmos­phere for the casu­al day-to-night drink­ing and din­ing space. With an ele­ment of unex­pect­ed, the fitout will con­tin­ue to evolve giv­ing cus­tomers good rea­son to come back time and time again.

Back to Projects