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2012 Eat-Drink-Design Awards: Best Restaurant Design

Best Restaurant Design — Joint winner
The Spice Temple Melbourne by 1:1 Architects with Grant Cheyne

Jury comment

Exotic, atmospheric and transformative of its Crown complex shell, Spice Temple exemplifies the best of high-end dining, where a sense of occasion bordering on fantasy is called for. The experience and finesse of Neil Perry’s Rockpool dynasty is evident in the accomplished match between food and place. Focusing on the regional cuisines of Sichuan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang provinces, Spice Temple orchestrates synergies between the warmth and spiciness of the food, and the moody comfort and density of the various dining areas. Deliberate darkness and veiled drama in the design do not compromise the operation or ease of the place, or represent Asian sensibility and richness as stereotypical motifs. Earl Carter’s glowing photographic portraits shift the scale of spaces, and inject idiosyncrasy and long vistas into these otherwise introspective spaces. Evoking an imaginary journey through a Shanghai speakeasy, Spice Temple is a consummately theatrical, sexy and sensory eating space.

Design Statement

Spice Temple Melbourne is immediately adjacent to Rockpool Bar & Grill, completed around four years ago. The design has been influenced by street hawker food markets and greatly complements the menu, which draws inspiration from the cuisines of several Chinese provinces. Rawness and simplicity reverberate throughout the understated fitout, and there is an emphasis on comfort and experience rather than a particular theme decor or iconic statement. Spaces have been made intimate and the seating fairly dense to enhance the atmosphere and create a sense of relaxation. The dramatic theatrical lighting and screening devices create a sense of personal space and privacy.

Read a review of this project from Artichoke 34.

The Spice Temple
Melbourne Crown Entertainment Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank Vic 3006
+61 3 8679 1888
spicetemplemelbourne. com


Design practice
1:1 Architects
Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
David Nock, Lachlan Mosley, Clare Cannon, Yamil Khourydiaz, Carmen Wilson
Site details
Location 8 Whiteman Street,  Southbank,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Category Interiors
Type Hospitality, Restaurants
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 24 Oct 2012
Images: Earl Carter


Artichoke, December 2012

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