Written by Emily Taliangis. All images appear courtesy of Damian Bennett.
Despite being little more than a year old, there’s no question as to why emerging design practice TomMarkHenry was shortlisted for two awards in the 2015 Interior Design Excellence Awards. With Bondi’s Best, the three women behind TomMarkHenry have taken seafood restaurant design in a new and exciting direction – away from the starkly lit and typically over-themed, towards a beautifully harmonious and tonal design.
Natural and artistic elements are juxtaposed against luxurious accents, demonstrating design workmanship of the highest quality. In its design, TomMarkHenry has established a new calibre of culinary technique.
Prior to its refurbishment, Bondi’s Best was an established and highly regarded seafood brand. This strong reputation drove the firm’s desire to create a restaurant indicative of the recognised brand and its respected line-caught fishing process, while maintaining its standing as a popular takeaway business. The result is a successful merging of two offerings within one innovative space.
The floor plan is a unique split-use plan comprising of fresh takeaway seafood and dining. The central dividing wall contains fish lockers, a stunning visual addition displaying fresh seafood that can be purchased and enjoyed at home or in-house. Consistent lighting and flooring ensures the two spaces remain one, and sets a new precedent of what a restaurant can be: a perfect harmony between function and aesthetic.
Inspiration was drawn from the natural elements of the surrounding coastline, encouraging innovative ways to redefine the visual expectations of an “old” seafood restaurant. Rope details on the ceiling, travertine-clad counters and tonal explorations of blues and greys, accented with brass are comforting reminders of the sea, and are indicative of the distinctive function between natural and artistic.
The building’s pre-existing low ceilings allow warmth and intimacy, while rich leather banquette seating, deep textured walls and detailed mosaic tiles all contribute to the sophisticated, atmospheric vibe.
Bondi’s Best is not what you’d expect in a seafood restaurant – let alone one designed by a young, emerging practice. This project demonstrates what we can expect in future TomMarkHenry projects.
Read our interview with TomMarkHenry here.
TomMarkHenry has been shortlisted for the 2015 Interior Design Excellence Awards within the Hospitality and Emerging Designer categories.