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2013 Australian Interior Design Awards: Retail Design

Retail Design Award Tongue & Groove by Tobias Partners Australian Interior Design Awards

Jury comment

Tongue & Groove is a beautiful example of an interior architecture project that displays clarity, assuredness and spirit. Placed against the external window of the showroom, the large, faceted timber-clad apertures sit in close proximity to each other within the muted volume of the store. The apertures refract light through and around the forms, highlighting the beauty of the product while also challenging people’s perception of how Tongue & Groove boards can be used in everyday life.

Design statement

The objective of this project was to create a striking space to display the diversity and versatility of the brand’s European oak boards. In a space which had few inspiring features, Tobias Partners introduced a series of faceted, timber-clad “lenses” that draw light from the external windows and cast it across the product. The form was rigorously sketched, modelled, maquetted and then detailed. The effects of light were studied on the form’s many surfaces, dictating how the product would be distributed across them. The installations are repeated and offset throughout the space to draw the visitor into an intriguing and dynamic engagement with the product, while ancillary services are carefully tucked away to minimize distraction from this experience. The success of the project relies on the rigorous planning and attention to detail and literally shows off the product in a new light.

The Australian Interior Design Awards are presented by the Design Institute of Australia, DesignEX and Artichoke magazine.


Design practice
Tobias Partners
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Nick Tobias, Edmund Spencer, Pia Wolanski
Site details
Location 575 Church Street,  Richmond,  Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Category Interiors
Type Fit-outs, Retail
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 31 May 2013
Images: Justin Alexander


Artichoke, May 2013

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