Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes


Places & Faces

Techne’s Latest: Mammoth Café, Melbourne

A unique triangular tenancy wedged between Malvern Road and Beatty Avenue in Armadale, is Mammoth Café. For the duo behind Touchwood, Pillar of Salt and Barry, this is the next chapter of Jamie and Loren McBride’s ongoing mission to further explore the potential of healthy, creative and contemporary café style dining.

Engaging Melbourne architecture and interior design studio Technē to convert the site, the duo set Technē a brief of creating a peaceful, happy space that had a nod to subtle reference points including West Coast USA, summer holidays and the aesthetic of Wes Anderson films.

Working with a site that was irregular in shape and split into two distinct sections, Technē began by workshopping multiple potential floorplans in line with the client’s openness to exploring non-standard seating arrangements. In response, a sculptural front counter that incorporates bar-style seating greets guests and creates a central focal point of the room.

A variety of seating styles capitalise on the natural nooks that are created by the site’s irregular triangular floor plan. In addition to loose seat and table settings, long benches, banquettes and bar seating at the central counter offer multiple configurations and varying energies that create a flowing and relaxed environment.

In finishing and decorating the space, Technē opted for clean, simple white walls to increase the sense of space and reflect the natural light. Splashes of blue are an instantly recognisable signature of the design, from the powder blue terrazzo flooring and powder-coated navy blue metal table legs, to the varying shades of the blue aprons adorned by floor staff. American Oak benchtops and tabletops add warmth to the space, complementing an abundance of natural light and sunshine.

“Due to the nature of a small, triangular and split-level site, space planning for this project was initially a tricky exercise. However the quirkiness of the site quickly became an enjoyable design challenge for us,” says Technē senior interior designer, Jonny Mitchell.

In the kitchen, ex Hammer & Tong chef Emma Jeffrey has created a highly stylised, intricate and playful menu. The unique, all-day offerings are progressive and express an evolution from the McBride’s other venues. I suggest the egg brulee for brunch with bread and butter pickled zucchini, artichoke and toast. Heavenly.

Caitlan N

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