Architect from Maffra wins international award

ARCHITECT Matt Rawlins from Melbourne’s Figureground Architecture has taken out an international award for his fit-out design of Fitzroy caf Industry Beans.

Mr Rawlins, born in Maffra and a former Catholic College Sale student, designed the fit-out of the caf -roastery, which won the UK and International Caf Award at the 2013-2014 British Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, announced in London on September 25.

The only international awards dedicated to the design of food and drink spaces attracts entries from around the world, and this year featured high-profile architects including Zaha Hadid and Conran and Partners, as well as Australia’s Pascale Gomes-McNabb.

In May the Industry Beans fit-out won the award for Best Hospitality Design at the 2014 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Industry Bean’s design beat seven other short-listed cafes including Richmond’s Top Paddock, by Melbourne firm Six Degrees, and venues in Norway, Germany, Greece, China and the United Kingdom.

Mr Rawlins said the challenge presented by the brand-new tilt-slab warehouse shell was to bring warmth and intimacy to a vast industrial space with a limited budget.

“Our strategy was to maximise the potential for natural light from the roller door and to reduce the overall volume without losing the unique sense of height,” he says.

He said the tall, narrow dining space was inspired by the intimacy of Melbourne’s laneways.

The fit-out uses transparent polycarbonate to let light in, and black-painted shipping pallets to create a wall above the galley kitchen. The wall hides upstairs offices and a cupping room.

Painted pallets also form the ceiling of the tall dining space and enclose an outdoor dining area on the warehouse’s concrete forecourt. A roastery and coffee storage area occupy the back of the dining hall.

Industry Bean’s Trevor Simmons said they designed the space to be transparent, with an open-plan roasting room and brew bar.

“When you take a seat you can watch the whole process, from how we select our beans right through to the roasting, profiling and extraction.”