Distinctly Australian – Kiln at Ace Hotel Sydney by Fiona Lynch Office
Towering 18 stories above vibrant Surry Hills, Ace Hotel Sydney has opened its new rooftop restaurant, Kiln. With a star-studded line-up of homegrown talent bringing this ambitious dining experience to life, Ace turned to acclaimed Melbourne-based studio Fiona Lynch Office as the design partner for the space, while the inventive Mitch Orr, of ACME and CicciaBella fame, leads the kitchen.
Inspired by the rich history of Surry Hills and the warm, cinematic colour palette of the Australian landscape, Ace Hotel Sydney acts as a call and response to the city’s past. With contrasting textures and tones superimposing eras and evolutions throughout the building, Kiln complements this embrace with open arms, and to thank for that we have Fiona Lynch Office and a team of collaborators.
Tasked with developing a rooftop dining destination representing an Australian ethos and differentiated to the rest of the hotel, Fiona Lynch Office paid homage by focusing on local raw materials and craftsmanship along with custom furniture and lighting. “Ace wanted it to be an Australian take on what an Ace Hotel could be – one that would reflect Australia’s culture, colours and design language,” Fiona explains. “Their desire was for Kiln to feel like a distinctly different space within the hotel.”
Taking its name from the rich past of the site, Kiln is a tribute to Tyne House brick factory – one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns operating throughout the 1820s. Inside, the glass-walled dining room offers panoramic views of the Surry Hills locale and features two roomy terraces with fully retractable ceilings. Legendary Italian-Australian architect Enrico Taglietti and his groundbreaking work from the 1970s was a big source of inspiration for the design, while the talents of local makers and artists such as Studio Henry Wilson and Volker Haug Studio were tapped for custom fixtures and a unique ombr. aluminium-wrapped utility room. The choice of materials also has an Australian flavour, with a wide palette of sustainable local materials including Balmoral Green and Harlequin Australian stone from quarries in South Australia and Queensland, and natural timbers including Tasmanian Huon pine and birdseye stringybark.
Fiona Lynch Office’s nuanced blend of raw materials and refined touches is delivered at Kiln in spades. The designers collaborated with fellow Melbourne-based Spacecraft Studio to create custom pigment-dyed linen – the first of its kind in Australia – fashioned from salvaged waste materials collected from the building site. All painted by hand, the bespoke linen serves as a curtain at the restaurant’s entrance, as well as adorning several of Kiln’s walls and window frames. The result is a captivating yet soft application that warms the space while further paying respect to the storied history of the site.
Defined by its open kitchen and woodfired hearth, the restaurant offers visitors new and old on electrifying display. Chef Mitch Orr showcases his genre-bending approach to cooking, taking patrons on a culinary journey of flavours from the likes of Italy, Japan and Southeast Asia. Setting ablaze long-burning native ironbark and assorted fruitwoods, the hearth’s open flame is put to work smoking regional produce, presented in a no-fuss share-plate style.
With the addition of an eclectic wine list expertly curated by Mike Bennie, Kiln is destined to become a mainstay in Sydney’s vibrant dining scene. Blending the site’s unique history and working within Australia’s lively design sphere, Ace and Fiona Lynch Office present a nostalgic space that is distinctly Australian.