red brickwork in melbourne's bentwood cafe reflects the industrial heritage of its surroundings

red brickwork in melbourne's bentwood cafe reflects the industrial heritage of its surroundings

located within thonet‘s old showroom in melbourne, australia, the bentwood cafe pays tribute to the brand’s iconic furniture. australian practice ritz & ghougassian, responsible for the brick interiors, and graphic design studio pop & pac, who has worked on the cafe’s identity, have created a space that reflects the rich history of the building and the brutalist, industrial heritage of the surrounding area.

photos by tom blachford



combining red brickwork, concrete columns and primed steel wall cladding with iconic thonet furniture, ritz & ghougassian has transformed the old showroom into a multi-layered space which, together with the brand identity by pop & pac, invites visitors to discover something new as they move through it. the building’s original brick facade has been preserved, and now welcomes patrons into a red-hued interior finished with leather and timber furnishings. gold plates with various sayings or names engraved on them that link to the furniture company, such as that of le corbusier or michael thonet himself, add an elegant touch to the worn out effect of the brick walls. a key feature of the space, the gridded ceiling is made of steel primed with red oxide, while its three-dimensional form interacts with the plentiful natural light coming from the floor-to-ceiling windows to create pockets of privacy, light and shadow.

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