Rockpool Est. 1989 Sydney

“Best Restaurant Design” – 2014 Eat Drink Design Awards

Elegance, Restraint & Comfort.

By consciously holding back and focussing on three simple but essential qualities, the adaptation of a heritage space in the Sydney financial district aims to create an elegant, comfortable and restrained atmosphere to compliment the cuisine and service. Such qualities are neither inventive nor special but it is rare to find them all in the same restaurant.

Consequently some aspects of the design are simple and unremarkable, like commonplace finishes or imperfect residual elements from past uses. Inversely great care and investigation preceded the selection of dining chair and the lighting of the tables or the creation of a new visual identity for the restaurant.

I concede that dining at this level is a special event and indeed the site was selected with this in mind. Features such as the 3.5m high custom designed pendants are both a celebration of the magnificent heritage building and a reference to the grand restaurants of the past.

I anticipate that we are nearing the end of the ‘iconic’ design trend and resuming (yet again) to re-discover enduring classic design and the essentials of what makes a space great.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY EARL CARTER