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Project Details:

Bricks: Red Blue Rustic Paving Tiles by Krause Bricks

Supplier: Robertson’s Building Products

Architect: Ritz and Ghougassian

Builder: Uwood Projects

Bentwood pays homage to the old custodians of the space and the site’s historic archetype as a furniture workshop and later as the Thonet furniture showroom. The cafe is furnished in Thonet’s iconic pieces and beautifully detailed joinery. The robust materiality of the eatery was informed by the site’s existing facade and the surrounding environment. As a result, the interior reflects Fitzroy’s brutalist industrial heritage through the use of primed steel wall cladding and ceiling panels.

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The space sits encased within the original heritage facade, made of red pressed brickwork and old stucco. An adjacent laneway lined with brick pavers runs underfoot, while concrete columns rise up to a ceiling grid primed in red oxide. The ceiling grid compart-mentalizes the space, creating pockets of light and shade, volume and intimacy.

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In November 2018, Bentwood Cafe took out the 2018 Eat Drink Design Award for Best Cafe Design.

The raw materiality of the brickwork harmonizes with the rich leather tones, bringing a sense of richness and comfort, along with little surges of curiosity
— 2018 Eat Drink Design Awards jury comment
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Text from Architecture AU. Photography by Tom Blanchford.

Read more about the design of Bentwood Cafe at Yellowtrace and Architecture AU.