Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Images courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

 

Holy moly. Let’s just say this post has been a long time in the making. Like, forever and ever in the internet years. Alas, we are super excited that we are finally able to share with you another stunning Australian project. Shall we?

Prix Fixe is a first time collaboration between two clever and seasoned operators in the Melbourne hospitality scene, chef Philippa Sibley and restaurateur Jason Jones. The duo commissioned Fiona Lynch to create their latest dining room and Australia’s first ticketed restaurant. Prix Fixe embraces the inherent sense of theatre present in busy, dynamic restaurants, and celebrates a return to glamorous dining. The restaurant interior is formed from a material palette of mirror and marble, brass and metallic glazed linen, exposed ceiling fixtures and concrete, with a bold, confident and directional aesthetic. The end result is ultimately a play on contrasts – moody and inviting, luxe and raw, but above all incredibly dramatic.

Read on for a little insight into the project from Fiona and her extremely clever (and good looking) team. They totally paid me Twenty Bucks to say that!

 

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Images courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

 

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

Encouraged by the clients’ innovative and creative new concept behind the restaurant to be – Melbourne’s first ticketed restaurant where the menus change monthly ‘inspired’ by the arts, music and produce available seasonally and regionally – we envisaged a space that was in turn ‘inspired’ by a back of stage. It was a return to glamorous dining. Referencing the original 1980’s architecture of the building and combining this with the exposed elements after demolition, we were determined to create a beautiful environment in its own right, but one that complemented ‘the theatre of food’ which was to be the star. Luxurious 80’s apricots bathe the ceiling and veins of marble; bronze mirrors and deep hunter green joinery are jewels against the industrial exposed concrete columns. A significant concern of our concept was to maintain the balance of ‘back of theatre’ as well as intimate dining room; the kitchen pass itself is like a stage flanked in brass, the chefs are on display, the cocktails are made in open view, and yet each table is lit by and individual bespoke light creating it’s own little stage.

+ Your favourite thing about this project?

We love the juxtaposition between the raw industrial elements, such as the chaotic exposed ceilings and raw concrete pillars with the overall softness of the colour palette and space. Utilising the tiered floor plan we played with layering textures and fixtures to highlight both concepts giving each a chance to shine.

 

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Images courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

 

+ Most challenging aspect?

The only real challenge was the time line. Starting the concept design just four days before the Christmas break in 2013, we worked through the Festive season but had trouble locking in any tradesmen for January! Luckily our reliable sources came to the party, even at the eleventh hour, and the vision was realised.

+ What did you learn during the project?

Predominantly designing residential projects where the time frame can span from 1-3 years, we had to remain flexible and adapt quickly to a tight timeline. Decisive decision making – or running with your gut instincts! – was paramount to this project. Having a strong concept, and trust from our amazing client really ensured the pace of the project ran smoothly… in the back of our minds knowing the restaurant was fully booked for opening night fuelled our commitment to the smallest detail. There would be no ‘bad table’ in this space.

 

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Images courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

 

+ Would you have done anything differently?

Time and budget were equally tight from the beginning, not to mention that we would have loved an empty shell; a poorly planned existing kitchen, floor surfaces that could not be altered and other oddities that could not be amended within the time frame meant that we had to get creative. This being said, as a designer you do learn that during these projects sometimes these constraints are what actually make the space special. Things that we focused heavily on that we wanted to change are now something that recede into the background.

 

Prix Fixe Melbourne Restaurant by Fiona Lynch | Yellowtrace

Image courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.

 

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

It seems funny now but I dare say it was far from funny on opening day 2 hours before the first service! Our beautiful bespoke brass and marble door handles fell off the main door and smashed. We stood open mouthed and speechless (for about 2 seconds!) before we grabbed the dustpan and brush and cleaned/workshopped a new idea. Options were scarce given the time.

At 5.00pm, one hour till the doors opened (or didn’t!) we looked at the Kaliedo trays from HAY on the waiters station and lightning struck. In a trice our builder was cutting a 100×100 timber block whilst I polished up our apricot saviour, screwed it all together with 15 minutes to spare. It turned out to be a great contemporary solution for the weekend, whilst the other handle was in reproduction!

 

 


[Images courtesy of Fiona Lynch. Photography by Sharyn Cairns.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

4 Responses

  1. BRABBU

    It was a great pleasure to be part of this restaurant project.
    Hope soon, that we can experience a dining at Prix Fixe.
    Congratulations, Fiona Lynch and David Flack!

    Reply

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