Pablo & Rusty's Sydney by Giant Design | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace


Smack bang in the middle of Sydney CBD, Pablo & Rusty’s by Giant Design is the cranked up version of Saxon Wright’s Lane Cove café. The flagship store is consistent in tone – it’s warm and industrial, and has the same sustainable and ethical ethos. The difference is in the stature – this roastery is grand. Its towering ceilings, chandeliers and oversized benches give this new space the punch, though not at the cost of being comfortable. Warm metals, timber, and exposed brick keep the friendliness alive, balancing out the “big-city glam” they’ve got going on. The result is an inviting, vibrant space with plenty of room to get into the seriously great coffee.

Pablo & Rusty’s | 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Open Mon-Fri 6.30am – 5pm and Saturdays 8am – 5pm.

Below is a little Q&A with the clever designers – Chris Wilks & Ed Kenny from Giant Design. Take it away fellas!


Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace


+ What was your design inspiration for this project – i.e was it a result of client’s brief, a particular concept or an idea?

The project has it’s origins in a smaller site that was completed for the client back in 2011, in Sydney’s Lane Cove. It was there that we established the brand’s look and feel based on the client’s brief and ethos – industrial, handcrafted, boutique, transparent, authentic, and honest. The larger city site allowed us to really flesh out the ideas, bring in some new ones, and amp up the wow factor as is fitting for a flagship site.

+ Your favourite thing about this project?

The space radiates warmth; the tones of the timber, bricks and render make the whole space appear softer than these materials normally might. The absolute favourite though has to be the custom brass pendant lights. Milk crates have never looked sexier! The way they sparkle and glow in the incandescent light, floating like 3D line drawings, takes the prize.

+ Most challenging aspect?

The project site is located within a new development in the city, which was still under construction at the time we began planning. Without a space to inspect or thorough tenancy drawings there were many base building details that we were guessing at the time. It meant that when we finally got on site there were services, bulkheads and glazing details that clashed with design elements and signage. This forced us to develop solutions that we may never have come up with, and for a design team of perfectionists this can be hard. Sometimes compromises have to be made in order to get a project over the line.

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace

Pablo & Rusty's by Giant Design Sydney | Yellowtrace


+ What did you learn during the project?

Choosing between 16 different 75mm x 300mm off-white tiles is practically impossible, especially when the one you want does not exist. Perhaps we need to invest in our own kiln!

+ Would you have done anything differently?

The eternal problem – lead times! Despite the long lead up to the project getting onsite, we still managed to lose some finishes/furniture specs due to insufficient lead times. New year’s resolution – make sure specs have been placed on hold in order to avoid seeking substitutes at the last minute! It’s not good for anyones mental health. (see aforementioned comment re. design perfectionists.)

+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts you could tell us?

Pablo and Rusty’s is located in one of the first six-star, green developments in the city. The venue is totally powered by a bio-generator, enabling it to exist entirely off the energy grid, cutting down on emissions and long-term costs.


[Photography by Andrew Worssam. Images courtesy of Giant Design and Pablo & Rusty’s.]


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2 Responses

  1. pablo & rusty’s / sydney / giant design | design & dine

    […] 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. […]


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