Shaping Flinders Lane
Feature Article
Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Words Catherine Ashbridge
Photography Shannon McGrath
Creating an inviting space is decidedly important as restaurants and bars are increasingly frequented by urban dwellers outsourcing their entertaining of friends and family. People are leaning towards hospitality venues as an extension of their own living room – a type of home away from home for casual entertaining.

If you’re familiar with Melbourne then Flinders Lane will be either a memory of a great gastronomy experience, or high at the top of the ‘go to’ list on the next visit. The hospitality scene thrives here amongst the heritage and history, and contributing significantly to the culinary ambience is Melbourne’s Technē Architecture and Interior Design, with the design and architecture of six of the lane’s iconic venues.

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Technē have worked on ‘lane projects’ for almost 15 years, beginning with Movida in 2003. Further venues to materialize from the innovative architects were Tonka, Lee Ho Fuk, Fona, Grill’d and Garden State Hotel, all contributing to create the lane’s unique identity.

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Technē Directors, Nick Travers and Justin Northrop, steer by the proven philosophy that great architecture and design is the success of any ambitious new hospitality venture in Melbourne. Northrop says, “It was optional 20 years ago, it was desirable 10 years ago, but now it is absolutely essential. It is totally interwoven with the food offer in each of these venues”.

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Northrop says the key ingredient is great design with an almost holistic approach. All components of hospitality need to be included and interlock in the design process. Then it’s about offering differing hospitality experiences, all of which include functional, innovative and welcoming spaces, though a diverse range of design approaches so there is a key differential from one venue to the next. All venues do however share a common respect for heritage, texture and patina.

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The design concepts celebrate the building heritage, and new design contributions, combined with client’s aspirations, embrace the unique sites and existing shells. “All of Technē’s projects are unique, but first and foremost welcoming and enjoyable spaces to spend time in.”

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Creating an inviting space is decidedly important as restaurants and bars are increasingly frequented by urban dwellers outsourcing their entertaining of friends and family. People are leaning towards hospitality venues as an extension of their own living room – a type of home away from home for casual entertaining.

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This trend towards casual dining has driven big change in the hospitality sector over the last decade. In a unique sense Flinders Lane and Technē Architects have truly linked together to create one impressive dining hub for foodies and urban dwellers to do just that. Set amongst heritage buildings, and contributing six venues of leading edge design, Technē have undeniably played a large part in shaping this ‘must-see-laneway’ on the Melbourne Bucket List.

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Published 15 August, 2017
Photography  Shannon McGrath
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