2014 Eat Drink Design Awards: Best Cafe Design winner

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A. Baker by DesignOffice

A. Baker by DesignOffice Image: Scottie Cameron

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A. Baker by DesignOffice

A. Baker by DesignOffice Image: Scottie Cameron

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A. Baker by DesignOffice

A. Baker by DesignOffice Image: Scottie Cameron

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A. Baker by DesignOffice

A. Baker by DesignOffice Image: Scottie Cameron

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A. Baker by DesignOffice

A. Baker by DesignOffice Image: Scottie Cameron

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Best Cafe Design
A. Baker by DesignOffice

Jury comment:

Part of a series of well-integrated, beautifully realized “culinary destinations” occupying the ground floor and basement of Canberra’s heritage-listed New Acton Pavilion, the cafe at A. Baker is a refreshingly brutal space with the building’s dramatic recent history etched into the walls. The 1920s building was ravaged by fire in 2011 and the design incorporates the charred walls as part of a palette that also includes concrete, bluestone, galvanized steel and leather as part of an elegantly elemental mix. The cafe shares the ground floor space with the restaurant, the two areas separated – and connected – by a central open kitchen. There’s a wonderfully organic feel to the layout, with a sense of space and flow that invites you to explore the spaces, both those on the cafe level and the basement level bakery and bar, connected by a newly installed stair. The solidity of concrete – including cast concrete seats with leather upholstery – mixes with an abundance of natural light during the day, making what could have been a stark and slightly forbidding space warm, sculptural and subtly inviting.

Design statement:

A. Baker is a bakery, bar, cafe and restaurant occupying the ground floor and basement of Canberra’s New Acton Pavilion. The client commissioned an all-encompassing culinary destination to act as the heart of an animated pathway across the rapidly evolving precinct. The New Acton Pavilion, built in 1927, was ravaged by fire in 2011. A. Baker now occupies the burnt ground floor shell and extends into the newly formed basement. The new stair also provides shared amenities for the rest of the building and adjacent tenancies. Central to the connection of the various offers is a new stair, visually and physically connecting the cafe and restaurant to the A. Baker bar and bakery below. On the ground floor, the history etched into the charred walls has been retained and embraced providing a textured and layered backdrop against the new palette of concrete, bluestone, galvanized steel and leather. Cast-concrete seats and leather upholstery line the perimeter to provide an intimate venue with glimpses through into the working bakery next door and dining room above.

A. Baker
New Acton Pavilion Unit 2,
15 Edinburgh Avenue
Canberra ACT 2601
abaker.com.au


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