design: Altis Architecture
chinese screens: Stone Pony
custom chairs & tables: Mint Contract Furniture
tiles: Tile Affair, Academy Tiles, di Lorenzo, Skheme, Earp Bros
carpet tiles: Shaw
banquette fabric: Baresque, Seneca Textiles
handmade Hawthorn bricks: Australbricks
pebbles: Eco Outdoor
servery tops: Caesarstone, Smartstone, WK Stone
Altis wanted to create a unique environment where the customer could experience a culinary journey through South East Asia. We were particularly inspired by the tastes, smells and sights of the Mekong River that flows through Vietnam, Thailand, China, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. We also wanted to create an exciting space with an outdoor street feel and different types of seating and food and drink stations, creating a new discovery and point of interest at every turn. We have created ‘streets’ and walkways throughout the scheme, surrounded by columns, plants and Hong Kong style illuminated signage to really give that feeling of being outdoors.
Altis wanted all the cooking to be very visible with large windows into the cooking areas so that the customers can really see their food being freshly prepared. There are 9 beautiful glowing large seafood tanks where you can choose your fish dish. The A la Carte restaurant, Horizon, has it’s own distinct area and is surrounded by grand columns and magnolia plants and two very special private dining rooms that look like a temple. Again the product is paramount in the bakery and juice bar, where the design is created to show off the beautiful baked goods and fresh produce in glass displays.
Altis were restricted by the existing shell of the building and had to work around some very complicated issues on site to make sure that we could achieve the spaces and the services that we needed. This kind of work takes a lot of coordination and effort and remains secret behind all the wonderful interior finishes and decorations.
We have authentic glazed Asian roof tiles from China covering the roof of the drinks bar, which took over a week to install by hand. There is a custom made bar top made from volcanic Rock which has come all the way from France. There are also authentic Chinese screens, doors and cabinets around the space which were all hand made in China specially for this project. We have had local artists adding custom wall murals and stencils to give that authentic street feel. There are a series of bird cages from China hanging in one area surrounded by the delicate sound of birdsong. All the furniture has been custom made for the space.
Altis hope that the interiors and the wonderful food prepared at District 8 combine to give the diners an amazing and unforgettable experience that will make them want to come back again and again.
Altis has worked on the project for over 3 years and to see it finally come together and to smell and taste the food and see people enjoying the space is so rewarding. Over 5500 leaves of timber, painted red are suspended from the ceiling along one of the main walkways, creating a feature route through the space. This was a tricky item to design and to get the lighting to work and it took many days to install all the individual pieces but it creates a unique feature that leads you through the space.
The brick tiled floor has worked beautifully and really adds so much to give that Street feel to the entire space.
Approximately 250 gold waving cats are displayed on glass shelves as an eye catching feature that brings good luck
The toilets were inspired by some restaurants that we visited in Asia on a research trip. We wanted to carry on the attention to detail from the District 8 dining areas through into the bathrooms. Often these spaces get forgotten about but we think that you can really judge a place by the quality of its toilets!