Project Team

design: Hearth Studio

Photographer: Armelle Habib

Market Lane Coffee, Collins St is a soft space to stop in the CBD. Victorian features are exposed, revealing lofty ceilings and detailed cornice work, while additions to the space make it comfortable to wait for take away coffee, sit outside under the trees or cluster in intimate booth spaces.

The brief was to create a beautiful place for customers to pause in the city, while accommodating many staff for a busy inner city service. The design response is informed by views to the gardens, the grand building Portland House and the work of Clarice Beckett (1888 – 1935) a tonalist plein-air painter who worked in the area.

The floor tile pattern using Victorian veranda tiles is based on a memory of Portland House, up until recently, covered in Ivy against a grey or blue sky. Wall tiles are matte and soft, stone bench tops cloudy and fabrics foggy, referencing Beckett’s painting ‘Collins St, evening’ 1933. Eucalyptus green paint and dusty walnut joinery reference the views to Fitzroy Gardens’ trees and slatted booths allow views through such as a garden bench might.

The plan is open, helping the space feel open and accessible despite its narrow thresholds and two rooms.