- Article by Online Editor
Photography by Jaime Diaz-Berrio.
A design collaboration between Craig Tan Architects, Bergman and Co and Samantha Eades Design, Hawker Hall is a contemporary Malaysian style restaurant and beer hall for the Lucas Group, located in an inspiring old masonry warehouse on Chapel Street in Windsor.
Occupying a deceptively large site, the 174 seat restaurant involved the refurbishment of existing warehouse spaces and the replacement of the rear stables with a two-storey structure and basement. Central to the design concept was encouraging a socially energised atmosphere, and conveying the experience rather than just the aesthetic of hawker markets.
The cook bank and bar elements within Hawker Hall compose implied zones within the large masonry volume. These are imbued with human scale by a family of integrated timber battened joinery elements, evocative of archaeological ruins, and accented with metal cut-ins or dark upholstery designed to invite tactile engagement.
The use of raw pegboard ceiling lining to integrate the existing trusses complements the dry brushed masonry walls and tile accents, creating a patinated acoustic chamber that adds an essential aural timbre to the restaurant atmosphere.
Within the dining space a family of timber joinery elements are dispersed throughout the space introducing a human scale. Finely detailed with horizontal timber battens, and redolent of Roman ruins, they are counterpointed with cut outs of dark metal and cushions to invite tactile engagement, and social interaction
To loosen the arrangement and evoke an urban atmosphere, extra layers of signage, lighting fixtures and styling elements adorn and punctuate the space.
A bamboo feature screen on the rear mezzanine and the attached zinc clad cook back conjure a street-like scale deep within the restaurant.
Shadowy silhouettes of people moving behind the bamboo screen in the upstairs unisex toilets, and the subsequent voyeuristic glimpses through the bamboo back down onto the Hawker Hall floor, seek to transport the multi-faceted experience of a steamy hawker street market to Windsor.
Within the unisex toilets, clerestory mirrors reflect the undulating market shed-like canopy of timber over the lower wall partitions and create an unexpected experience of sublime vastness deep within the restaurant.