- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Tom Blachford
- Architect Techne Architects
Fonda Mexican’s first eatery opened on Swan Street in Richmond, and more than a year later its founders decided to open a second restaurant on Chapel Street, Windsor, employing Techne Architects Melbourne to design the space.
In Mexico, a ‘fonda’ is a home stay or small restaurant, often set up in someone’s house, and it was from this concept that the brief for the project was derived. Techne aimed to present a homely and informal hospitality space that isn’t too literal or obvious, and is melded with a refined fitout that aspires to high design.
The design process was driven by a number of influences: the idea of a fonda and what it means, the subtlety of revealing and concealing the process of making the food itself, the display of produce, drinks and decoration, and the quality of the existing shell. From the beginning the site was handsomely proportioned; a generous space with a timber-lined pitched ceiling and exposed trusses. The interior design aims to reflect and celebrate the character of the existing space.
Team Techne Architects (Justin Northrop, Alex Lake, Melilita Kei, Steave Mckeag, Bianca Baldi); James Goldsmith, Goldenhen