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PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

Historic Mona Farm

Located in Braidwood in regional New South Wales, Mona Farm is a historic estate featuring restored heritage buildings, award-winning gardens, and one of the most significant contemporary art collections in regional New South Wales. The property dates back to Australia’s first European arrivals. Braidwood is a mix of impressive colonial buildings standing amongst an eclectic and busy township. Located within a three minute drive from Mona Farm, the town is home to over 14 cafes, a number of restaurants and shops, country pubs, and a golf course.

Since 2018, the owners of the property have sought to upgrade the original working farm through use of contemporary design while retaining the original character of the existing site. Stylish furnishings have brought a classic, contemporary edge to the historical farm house purposed for a luxury farm stay. The property houses six standalone buildings utilised for accomodation and a variety of functions.

The Woolshed, once an original shearing shed, is the primary hospitality function venue at Mona Farm. Lekkier worked with Sydney based hospitality architect, Louise Nettleton, to overhaul the original building to create a boutique 200 seat hospitality function space. The venue has the flexibility to cater for weddings, celebrations, corporate events, and functions. The project, originally a blank canvas, involved interior design and project management in conjunction with the farm’s owner-operators.

The hospitality fitout incorporates contemporary art, natural elements and rural scenery into the design to create a connection with its rural surroundings. The interior design featured the restoration of the original fabric, vaulted ceilings, and the construction of a large adjoining marquee. The interior refurbishment of front-of-house spaces featured a new cellar-door style bar and a hand crafted light installation at its centrepiece. Lekkier also integrated a new commercial kitchen, back-of-house spaces, and cool room infrastructure.

Lekkier designed the Woodshed Bar to have strong workflow connection to the main back-of-house spaces, providing direct but discreet access between the two. The cellar door style bar was inspired by the previous woolshed, picking up strong horizontal and vertical lines of the original sheep runs.

The bar was constructed using solid spotted gum timber, and features leathered stone work and warm accent lighting. Illuminated shelving surrounding the bar houses a large display of wines and spirts from the local region.

Above the bar is a large commissioned artwork that was designed by Lekkier, and brought to reality by Melbourne based artist Ed Linacre. It features 56 individually hand blown glass lighting tubes, coloured in hues observed from Mona’s spectacular sunset views across the countryside.

Client: Belinda & Bill Pulver
Photographer: Kimberly Low, Natasha Maree Photography

Archive

30 October 2020

East Row

Located amongst some of Canberra’s most eclectic businesses of the iconic Sydney Building, the fitout for East Row Specialty Coffee embraces the history and style of this historic building. Playing on the original dominant arched facade in the Florentine style, Lekkier created a cafe fitout that pays homage to the building’s past and unique place in Canberra’s architectural history.

The Sydney building was designed by Australian architect Sir John Sulman in the early 1920s, and was part of his much acclaimed Florentine phase. His design was derived from Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital and the cloisters of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence.

Our design inserted contemporary raw concrete benches and lighting fixtures that juxtapose against the heritage elements of the greater space. This gives the space a distinct industrial aesthetic whilst retaining its original warmth and charm.

Recycled Canberra red brick is a central feature of the cafe referencing the original fabric the Sydney building. The furniture specified for the space was chosen to reflect European cafe culture – where Canberra can trace its own rich modern day cafe culture back to.

26 June 2020

Courtyard by Marriott

Located near Macquarie Park station, Courtyard By Marriott in North Ryde offers contemporary accommodation in a prime Sydney location. The establishment primarily caters to business travellers and offers modern hotel rooms, guest suites and contemporary amenities. The hotel also boasts a fitness centre, corporate meeting rooms and eight function rooms, and provides corporate and events catering.

Lekkier was engaged to redevelop the bar, bistro restaurant, conference and meeting room facilities. The scope of services included delivering concept design, construction documentation, and building contract administration. Our approach was to embrace the original aesthetic of the hotel, employing the existing sandstone and timber veneer elements in the design for the new spaces.

The new island bar is the centrepiece of the redeveloped dining and bar space on the ground floor of the hotel. The new bar design features a suspended framed ceiling bulkhead, and custom fluted sandstone panels around its perimeter. Indirect accent lighting was installed to accentuate the natural split face texture and fluting of the sandstone panels. The sandstone was locally sourced from Gosford Quarries in New South Wales. The bar integrates effective workflow planning to increase efficiency of its operation during the busy evening service.

Our fitout design focused on opening up the ground floor dining spaces to increase connection between the bar and dining areas. This process allowed us to create a new lounge space adjoining the island bar that features Helen Kontouris designed furnishings, acoustic wall panelling and soft lighting. The main dining area, dominated by floor to ceiling glazing, received new sandstone column cladding and planted screening elements. The new screen elements were designed to separate the dining area from the breakfast buffet. Furniture by Helen Kontouris and Konstantin Grcic was specified to compliment the colour palette and relaxed feel of the space. The scope of works on this project also involved the modernisation of the hotel’s conference facilities.

Refurbishment work in the conference rooms involved the design and installation of new acoustic panelling, individually cut and installed in a dynamic geometric patten. New furniture by Prostroria was supplied to the renovated conference rooms to complete the modernised look and feel of these spaces. Lekkier worked closely and collaboratively with Marriott management and the building contractor to successfully deliver this project within a operating hotel environment.

22 March 2020

Dumpling Social

Dumpling Social was developed as a modern asian restaurant and bar offering an exciting new dining experience to Westfield Woden, Canberra. Differentiating itself from the usual fare, the fitout embraces a youthful vibe and cheerful atmosphere.

Lekkier worked alongside Westfield’s retail fitout delivery team and the shopfitter to deliver the project. The fitout design included the creation of the front-of-house restaurant and cocktail bar spaces, as well as a large open commercial kitchen, toilet facilities, and storage and cool rooms. The front of house boasts a mixture of seating options, bar seating, communal tables, and private dining areas to suit a variety of clientele and allow the space to be adapted to different sized groups.

The fitout design focused on the development of an inviting street presence, featuring a large oversized timber framed glass facade and dumpling window with large red neon signage reminiscent of modern Asian streetscapes. The interior design features the liberal use of timber and terrazzo floor and wall cladding. Walls are adorned with eclectic picture frames featuring whimsical graphics.

Lekkier worked in collaboration with the client who took an active role in the design process resulting in the delivery of a space that uniquely reflected the client’s vision for their business.

20 March 2020

Tinker Tailor

Tinker Tailor is a small cafe located in the heart of Gungahlin in Canberra. The cafe is well known as one of Canberra’s best for its local coffee blends, famous patisserie offerings, and friendly baristas. Crucial to the development of the design was to amalgamate the well known brand and renowned pastry products that resonate with their customers.

Lekkier was approached by Tinker Tailor to develop a new interior concept design for their cafe. The existing cafe fitout embraced an open, clean and contemporary boutique aesthetic which sought to bring coffee making to the front and centre of the customer experience. The team wanted to explore options for the integration of a cafe kitchen space to expand their operations. This included expanding their coffee and pastry services area, upgrades to coffee equipment, bread display and seating.

Lekkier worked collaboratively with the Tinker Tailor team to develop a detailed understanding of this unique brand, their existing market, and future goals for their business. We embraced the unique aspects of the original design, and helped evolved this concept to reflect the business’s current direction and character. We achieved this through integrating a new colour palette and natural materials into the existing branding scheme. We added richness to the concept through the use of terracotta and warm timbers whilst retaining the original essence of this much loved and recognised Canberra cafe brand.

16 December 2019

Alivio Tourist Park

Nestled in a quiet bushland setting within five minutes from the heart of Canberra city, Alivio Tourist Park is one of Canberra’s largest accommodation providers. The park has a strong connection with surrounding bushland which is embraced by guests for recreational activities. The park facilities include tennis courts, a swimming pool, playgrounds, BBQ’s, outdoor kitchen areas, and accommodation options including rooms, villas and cabins.

Lekkier was engaged to provide architectural masterplanning, detailed design, and construction management for the park’s reception area, restaurant building, and surrounding amenities including the outdoor entertainment and pool area. We worked closely with park management to develop a strategy and workshop design for the park’s future hospitality operations.

Lekkier worked to reconfigure the overall layout to centralise the main bar – maximising guest access and improving space circulation. The bar features a natural colour palette utilising spotted gum timbers, eucalypt coloured glazed tiling, illuminated bottle shelving, and lush planting. Provision of service counters from both the deck and internally optimise access for guests and patrons.

A pizza shop with a large pizza oven was incorporated into the venue where the bar once stood. Developed as a stand alone pizza bar space, the pizza bar has become a popular offering for both guests and the public. Further internal works included upgrades and reconfiguration of the seating area, including the specification of new furniture, upgrades to the existing commercial kitchen, new back-of-house spaces, and cool rooms.

The new 185sqm deck was designed to work with the architectural aesthetic of the building and provide integration between the restaurant and pool area. The deck features large recycled timber support columns and large open seating areas to accommodate large groups with views over the bushland. The recycled timber elements were repeated along the building facade to transform the existing building’s scale to express its important place within the park.

The project included the design coordination and construction of a new waterpark adjacent the existing pool area. The waterpark was designed with close integration and connection to the new deck and bar extension.

This unique Canberra hospitality venue embraces its bushland setting. The building’s strong connection with its natural surrounds blends bespoke built elements and modern amenities to successfully enhance guest amenity and experience at the park.

3 May 2019

Mister Munro

Mister Munro, located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on Little Collins Street, is a re-branded and new dining concept within the Victoria Hotel by Rydges. Lekkier worked collaboratively with Rydges management to develop early stage concept design and space planning, forming the basis for the new space.

Mister Munro bar and restaurant is named after its founder, leading prohibition advocate and former Victorian Premier, James Munro. The concept inspiration for the restaurant and bar draws heavily on the heritage of the venue. James Munro originally founded the Hotel in 1880 as a dry hotel and it remained that way for almost a century. Originally known as the Victoria Coffee Palace, it was an alternative to pub accommodation on offer during the late 19th century.

The new restaurant and cocktail bar is part of the dining suite at the Victoria Hotel. It features two private dining rooms, a restaurant and buffet space, and a new art deco inspired bar. Mister Munro features a locally-sourced menu, celebrating Victorian produce such as Portarlington Mussels, Victorian Rainbow Trout, Yarra Valley beef, and decadent desserts.

This contemporary Art Deco inspired restaurant and bar promotes the hospitality that the Victoria Hotel has been renowned for over a century.

30 April 2019

Relaunching a legend

Canberra’s ANU Union Bar, located on the Australian National University city campus, has a legendary status with Australian National University Alumni and the Canberra community at large. The small bar is famous for having hosting some of the biggest acts in the world – Nirvana, the Hunters and Collectors, The Church, Tool, Lou Reed, Faith No More, Beastie Boys, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, and Frenzal Rhomb.

The ANU Union Bar was front and centre of the Canberra touring music scene during the 1980’s and 1990’s which was a prolific time in Australian touring history for international and Australian touring artists. Canberra was a logical stop between Sydney and Melbourne. Touring in those days was how these up and coming bands got their names out there, and band posters were the Instagram posts of their day.

The Australian National University’s $260M redevelopment of Union Court at the heart of the university resulted in the ANU Union Bar’s closure in its original location. The Union sought a new space to revive and evolve this legendary institution – culminating in a large site at the Lena Karmel building. This new site featured a large bar area, two large outdoor beer gardens, and space for five food outlets in a foodcourt style arrangement.

Lekkier was engaged to provide interior design, hospitality design, and fitout construction services. Lekkier delivered a comprehensive concept and construction design for the new bar space and adjacent food court – featuring two cafes, two takeaway fast food outlets, and a fresh juice bar. Lekkier also worked to integrate draught beer systems, audio systems, acoustic control elements, cool rooms, and storage areas.

Lekkier’s approach was to pay homage to the bar’s rich history, whilst modernising the space and providing patrons with facilities to suit the Union’s new era.

Lekkier worked in collaboration with artist Silly Pear for the production of large murals throughout the space featuring imagery of the bar’s past – a throwback to the band posters of the old days.

18 March 2019

Chapayom

Chapayom was first opened as a humble street-side tea shop in Hat Yai, Thailand. Their mission was guided by a simple principle: the perfect balance of flavours and texture. Since its humble beginnings, Chapayom has become an award-winning brand franchise recognised by the Thailand People’s Choice Awards.

In 2016, Chapayom expanded from Thailand into other neighbouring markets – successfully making its way into the Australian market in 2019. Chapayom Australia’s mission is to bring happiness, colour, fun and a smile to everyone’s life.

Chapayom Australia approached Lekkier to work with Chapayom’s marketing agency and adapt the existing customer experience. The idea was to create an ‘Australia-specific’ design concept tailored to the local market. Lekkier worked extensively with the head franchisor to develop the overall look and feel of the kiosks, resolve equipment requirements for the reworked menu, and deliver construction services for the shopfitting of the retail store fitouts.

Chapayom’s first Australian cafe was opened on busy George Street in the Sydney CBD. True to Chapayom Australia’s mission, the design of the cafe fitout embraces colour, fun, and feelings of happiness. It utilises a bright colour palette with fruity colours as well as materials, textures and built elements that pay homage to the brand’s friendly beginnings in Hat Yai.

Lekkier worked with the Australian master franchisee and their team to successfully adapt this celebrated international brand into an Australian success story.

7 March 2019

Transforming Mercure Sydney

The Mercure hotel, located on George Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, is a popular hotel renowned for its rooms featuring beautiful views of the Sydney cityscape.

Directly below the Mercure Sydney lies the now unused original Goods Line Rail Tunnel. It was previously used to connect the Sydney Rail Yard and the Sydney-Parramatta railway line to the shipping port of Darling Harbour. The line was first opened in 1855 and originally comprised a simple wooden platform and corrugated iron shed adjacent Sydney’s historic central station.

The award-wining restaurant and bar Platform 818 is a new and exciting dining concept for the hotel. The restaurant serves a modern take on classic Australian dishes. Inspired by historical train-line supply routes, dishes are created with locally-sourced produce that once would have travelled from railway towns along the New South Wales regional areas.

Lekkier created the concept design for the new Platform 818 Restaurant & Bar, located on the first floor of the hotel building. The concept design was influenced by the history and heritage of its locality at 818 George Street. The design picks up on references from the historic goods lines featuring archways, distressed brickwork, metallic highlights, and accent lighting.

Lekkier delivered concept designs for the new restaurant, bar and buffet spaces resulting in layout plans, mood boarding, material and furniture schedules, and high quality 3D renderings. The project involved the construction of new in-fill suspended concrete slabs to significantly increase the restaurant floor area.

Lekkier worked collaboratively with the client’s project manager, the talented Jenny Farrell, and hotel management resulting in an award-winning bar and restaurant for Mercure, winning the ‘TAA Restaurant of the Year 2019’.

26 June 2018

Wild Panda

Located in the popular No Name Lane precinct in Acton, Canberra is Wild Panda. This now iconic brand brings a taste of the Chinese city of Chongqing to Canberra diners.

Founders Wilson Wei and Sam Sun created Wild Panda in 2017 to share their love of Sichuan Chongqing noodles. Since its conception, Lekkier was engaged to deliver the end-to-end design and construction of this unique Canberra brand.

The restaurant design incorporates the liberal use of custom designed graphic elements, referencing unique Chinese cultural stories. The restaurant’s neon branding encapsulates the brand’s youthful and cross-cultural appeal. The restaurant fitout features textured wall finishes, solid timber flooring, and matching accent timber elements. Arched openings and curved timber counters soften the geometric lines of the feature timber bulkhead ceiling. Recycled brick columns add additional texture and depth to the space.

With aspirations to franchise the Wild Panda brand to the rest of Australia and beyond, Lekkier is proud of our ongoing working relationship with its creators.

Frequented by Canberra’s large student community for its authentic flavours, Lekkier designed the fitout to create an inviting atmosphere, reminiscent of the feeling of home.