The new food hall: a day-to-night design

by Tiffany Paczek
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Regardless of the type of facility – multi-residential, corporate or medical – the dining facilities are an important part of its success. Lendlease, at it’s Darling Square precinct, will implement a new food and beverage destination described as a day-to-night design and known as ‘Maker’s Dozen’. The new food hall, designed by Anthony Gill Architects, will have sliding doors and box-shaped tenancies to allow the hall to remain active from 7am to 11pm.

Maker’s Dozen sits on the ground floor of The Exchange building in Sydney and is scheduled to open mid-2019. The food hall will have the capacity for 350 seats, including communal group tables, indoor and outdoor settings and exclusive dining with one of the select few retailers with dedicated seating. Darling Square is currently home to 1500 residents and 3000 employees.

Twelve individual tenancies, designed by Gill, will provide a range of casual quality dining options, beginning with coffee and breakfast and progressing through to drinks and dessert. While Gill has challenged the circular geometry of the building by inserting a collection of square boxes to house each tenant, he has taken cues from Kengo Kuma and Associates’ concept for The Exchange to ‘float’ over the ground floor and become an extension of the public realm.

The collection of boxes creates the feeling of a series of streets and laneways, and the steel sliding doors enable a transformation between closed and open states. In closed mode the steel doors create a consistent visual aesthetic that links the 12 tenancies together, and in open mode each tenant can promote its individual personality. The doors are robust and have a muted palette to contrast the vibrancy and colour of the tenants’ fitouts. The coolness of the metal will be offset by the warmth of the porphyry rock cobbled floor, with subtle reflections expected to be cast off the boxes themselves.

Neil Arckless, Darling Square project director, says Gill and the team’s appointment was the result of a clear vision to ensure the space always looks active.

“The team were particularly focused on how the ground floor would be experienced during different times of the day and night. We chose Anthony Gill Architects as their design responded to this with the contrast between the coolness of the boxes in closed mode and the warmth of the tenant fitouts when open,” Arckless says.

Gill says the team wanted to make sure that when the space is closed and all the boxes shut, the overall concept still holds together. “In closed mode, the individuality of the tenancies disappear and the boxes read as  a carefully considered composition.

“Some tenancies spill put into the space as bread trolleys or service counters push our into the laneways and streets, while others invite customers in to select a bottle of wine of have a drink. This idea is fundamental to the concept and the idea of a market – once the doors are open this interaction between public and maker is what brings the space to life,” Gill says.

Images courtesy of Lendlease.

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