Forty Licks

A subterranean Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Sydney City Sydney / Australia / 2019

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2 Love 46 Visits Published

 


‘Forty Licks’ is a subterranean Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Sydney City with a unique design and application of materials, setting it apart from all other restaurants in the CBD. The design applies a prosthetic approach to historic buildings that enables radical transformation while preserving heritage fabric.


The prosthetic framework employs hand welded stainless steel mesh, and custom clamps that allow its removal at any time. The new framework inverts the untouchable nature of the site, retains a visual connection to the existing period columns, beams and walls and provides for the three dimensional design to feed off.


The design inspiration for the restaurant involved piecing together disparate elements of the Vietnamese landscapes, juxtaposing the natural environment of the rice paddies and mountains, to the gritty and chaotic cityscape. These two themes provided the foundations of the design and the vision for the seating arrangement and material selection.


In order to satisfy the number of patrons specified in the original brief, it was imperative to utilise all areas of the site. This resulted in the creation of tiered platforms to elevate the seating arrangement onto an existing concrete plinth, mimicking the formations of Vietnamese rice paddies along with informal standing and seated bar areas. These distinct zones are reconnected through the fine interweaving of rattan, a native climbing palm, organically wrapped within the new mesh framing. This emulates the uncontrollable power cable network consuming the Vietnamese city streetscape.   


An artwork by Richard Goodwin, titled ‘Prosthetic Apartment E’, was acquired by the team that embodied the vision for the space. The artwork is fabricated in stainless steel and rattan cane that are woven together to create a form which speaks to Asian fluidity of design. Hence the sculpture, which occupies the stairway entrance, forms the cornucopia from which cane flows like a huge drawing through the space of the restaurant. GSBN see this design as a unique collaboration between art and architecture.


Forty Licks’ subterranean wonderland is designed to remove patrons from the mundane commercial landscape above, allowing for a completely immersive dining and drinking experience. Its approach to heritage design promotes radical transformation while preserving the existing fabric


 

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      ‘Forty Licks’ is a subterranean Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Sydney City with a unique design and application of materials, setting it apart from all other restaurants in the CBD. The design applies a prosthetic approach to historic buildings that enables radical transformation while preserving heritage fabric. The prosthetic framework employs hand welded stainless steel mesh, and custom clamps that allow its removal at any time. The new framework inverts the...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work started in 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Bars/Cafés / Restaurants / Recovery/Restoration of Historic Buildings
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