design: H & E Architects
furniture: Contempo Furniture, Jardan, Thonet, Grazia and Co
lighting: Blom & Blom
planters: Terrace Outdoor Living
Timber floor: Tongue n Groove Flooring
The design for Gerrale St Kitchen draws inspiration from early modernist and mid-century modern architecture. The material palette is fresh and stripped back with white monolithic surfaces, subtle curves, warm timbers and round light fittings creating a homely, intimate dining environment in a beachside suburban context.
Design challenges emerged early with the existing ground level shell containing a prominent column arrangement and a low concrete soffit. The design approach worked with the site constraints and resulted in an open plan with a central kitchen separating the café and the restaurant.
The restaurant was divided into three distinct spaces running lengthways through the site. The kitchen and a mid-height wall defines the first area. High tables and stools at the bar line the perimeter of the kitchen to create a more casual dining experience with views through to the charcuterie and oyster display. The central secondary dining space is contained by tiled columns and a full height timber glazed wall with low seating running lengthways. The third space is light-filled and narrow, with planting and a fireplace to anchor the room. Exposed off-white brickwork and an expansive glazed roof run the entirety of the room.
Conceptually the design is driven by referencing mid-century modern and early modernist houses. Large mirrors reminiscent of P&O style portholes line the northern boundary wall, monolithic tiled surfaces clad the bars & columns and round light fittings hang from the ceiling. Reflecting the shared plate menu, furniture within the venue is designed to be intimate and homely with a large communal table and loose sofa like leather & oak banquettes throughout.
The subtle palette of white tile, stone and timber surfaces contrasted with blonde timbers enhance and disperse the quality of direct natural light. A play of shadows has been developed through the timber cladding to the skylight framing and creating a rhythmic dance of light and dark.
Large frosted glass sliding doors allow for a separate section of the dining area for private settings. When closed the large panels crest a sense of enclosure and separation in a way that still allows the dramatic natural light to prevail through the rest of the interior.