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2012 Eat-Drink-Design Awards: Best Cafe Design

Best Cafe Design
Third Wave Cafe by Tony Hobba Architects

Jury comment

Third Wave Cafe translates the stereotypical Australian beach kiosk into an architectural icon, without pretension. Striking and uncompromising siting ensure the building stands out on the shore line, yet the predominant use of Core Ten steel allows it to blend visually with the landscape, and continue to weather sympathetically with it. The shape and surface suggest, but never mimic, maritime references, or worn found objects from a coastal stroll. Structure and function have been handled integrally, so that the additional ablution facilities sit unobtrusively, giving prominence to the ‘welcome’ of the kiosk servery. The robustness and strength of the concept aligns well with its offer of beachside fare, strong flavours and artisanal coffee. This project understands the directness of our love affair with the beach, its grainy patina and simple pleasures. It is a singular project, exemplifying the best of the Australian ethos of fresh food in a natural location.

Design statement

The brief was to design a new public facility at Torquay Surf Beach that included a cafe, toilets and change rooms. The facility needed to be open year-round, service an assortment of recreation users and provide an important beachside destination. Due to its high level of local, regional and international use throughout the year, together with its visual prominence along this section of coastline and the fact that it is situated on Crown land, the design needed to adequately service community recreation and tourist requirements while sensitively integrating and respecting the local coastal environment and adhering to the Victorian Coastal Strategy.

Third Wave Cafe
The Esplanade
Torquay Vic 3228


Design practice
Tony Hobba Architects
Vic, Australia
Project Team
Tony Hobba, Michael Lucas, Jordan Wright
Builder Philip Jessen
Building surveyor BSA Building Surveyors
Cost consultant Plan Cost
Electrical engineer Dick Twentyman and Associates
Hydraulic engineer Peter Tibballs and Associates
Project manager Rod Goring
Structural engineer Harrington Gumienik and Partners
Site details
Location The Esplanade,  Torquay,  Torquay,  Vic,  Australia
Number of stories 1
Site type Coastal
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Bars and cafes
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 24 Oct 2012
Images: Rory Gardiner


Artichoke, December 2012

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