Indoor-Outdoor fine dining maximised with true blue, sustainable Australian design

Maximising living space with a seamless indoor-outdoor transition has been a key trend for residential properties over the last year, yet this is also something consumers desire from their commercial buildings too say the experts at Big River Group.  A prime example of this is, a sustainable seafood restaurant on Barangaroo’s Wululgul Walk designed by Anthony Gill Architects.
“The overall look of the establishment needed to reflect’s ethos ‘to serve Australian seafood in the most sustainable way possible’, while including strong links to its original Rozelle restaurant in terms of feel and attention to detail,” explained Anthony Gill, Principal Architect at his namesake’s firm. 

With the new venue four times larger than it’s predecessor, which Gill had also designed in 2009, the brief was no mean feat. “The restaurant boasts indoor and al-fresco seating for 160 people with a stunning waterside view. However, the shopfront is 16 metres long and 4 metres high which gives a very strong first impression. Our first action was to reduce the separation between the interior and exterior area as much as possible, yet minimising an indoor-outdoor separation at this scale was a big challenge,” he said.  
The desired affect was achieved by installing with four huge sliding doors in along the shopfront, supported on a steel truss that spans from side to side. These doors stack behind the fixed translucent U-glass segment of the shopfront, which also conceals the truss at a high level from the outside.

“The effort was well worth it.  During the day the glass filters the external light beautifully, while at night the restaurant emits a balmy glow, accentuated by the interior’s simple white walls with warm timber accents,” said Gill.
Creating a cohesive look within a 6-star Green Star rated precinct while managing the vast amount of daily foot traffic the interior would receive was another key consideration for the architect.
“Building in any Lendlease development, and particularly Barangaroo, meant that all products used needed to meet high levels of scrutiny in terms of origin and manufacture,” continued Gill. “Fortunately timber manufacturer, Big River Group, enabled us to use an Australian hardwood option in an area (flooring) usually dominated with European Oak.”

“New Generation is a quality, pre-finished engineered Australian hardwood flooring that is quick to install. There is no need for coating, ensuring the job is completed without the dust and mess of sanding that comes from coating on site, as is required with traditional solid timber floors. Beneath a 4mm thick top layer of Australian hardwood is an engineered eucalyptus plywood core, which ensures optimum stability is guaranteed between the floorboards, with reduced risk of bending and cupping,” explained Jim Bindon, Managing Director of Big River Group. “It is also manufactured using logs sourced right here in Australia, matching the locally sourced ethos of the restaurant menu.”
“It ticked every box for us in terms of sustainability, strength, price and aesthetic,” concluded Gill.  
To ensure a warm and cohesive look, spotted gum Armourpanel was used for the interior joinery, and the restaurant finished with solid spotted gum windows and furniture.
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