Making Waves in Melbourne’s North-West – Three Blue Ducks By Pattern Studio

Words by Katherine Bithavas
Architecture by Pattern Studio
Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis

With a completely unobstructed view across the two-hectare lagoon at Urbnsurf, Melbourne’s first surf park, the new restaurant from hospitality group Three Blue Ducks has been designed by Pattern Studio to capture the roaring soul of surf culture.

Pattern Studio was engaged to create an iconic destination designed to draw patrons out of the city and into the carefully crafted pseudo-coastal location in Tullamarine, previously best known as the home of Melbourne international airport. The result is a dual level, 400-person capacity restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining and expansive views across a two-hectare lagoon – the largest and most operationally complex venue Three Blue Ducks has created to date. Pattern’s use of colour, texture and natural materials seamlessly extends the constructed landscape of the surf park to the dining precinct of the shoreline, creating an atmosphere intended to transport visitors to the Australian coast.

Externally, the al fresco dining area is dressed in timber furnishings of varying sizes and styles to accommodate diners of all descriptions, reminiscent of the casual Australian beaches that the surf-loving founders of Three Blue Ducks call home. The greenery is reflective of the native landscape and features a mixture of trees, herbs, and edible plant varieties, which are utilised day-to-day in the kitchen. Reflecting the group’s ethical and sustainable philosophy, the addition of these plants is an exemplar of the attention to detail that Pattern has implemented across the entire venue.

With the group’s philosophy to create an ethical and sustainable business in mind, the addition of these plants is an exemplar of the attention to detail that Pattern has implemented across the entire venue.

Through its doors, the restaurant opens up into a generous, semi-industrial space. The natural tones of the outdoor furniture are continued inside, as the space features a mixture of tactile natural finishes throughout, whilst maintaining the functional industrial fabrics. The ground floor features shou sugi ban charred timber across the bar front and walls, while the mezzanine level is lined with Australian blackbutt. The remaining elements are adorned with galvanised aluminium detailing, concrete, steel, and smoky grey brick – materials that embody traditional industrial spaces. Atop these core materials, Pattern has enhanced the warmth of the venue by selecting soft furnishings that exemplify the hospitable nature of surf culture.

The union between these prominent styles results in a space that is fresh, modern, and welcoming to the vast clientele, from the patrons of Urbnsurf to food-loving Melbournians. With a careful attention to detail in the creation of this space, Pattern Studio not only creates a layered and nuanced restaurant experience but directly parallels Three Blue Ducks’ mindful, no-frills approach to dining.