Farmhouse. 33sqm. 2014. Kings Cross
Farmhouse is a union of design and craft; a close-knit collaboration between designer and carpenter. Inspired by rustic, 19th century European homes, Farmhouse is a 33sqm, 20 seat communal dining restaurant constructed from salvaged and recycled material.
The project stemmed from a desire to use recycled, salvaged and reclaimed material to showcase and highlight the individual skill set of its collaborators. The elected context; A Farmhouse.
An individual ethos was created around the notion of a Farmhouse; Genuine, honest, simple, modest. This ethos informed and is reflected in the concept, offerings, material selection and charm inherent in the restaurant.
Conceptually, the offering is ‘A dinner party in a farmhouse’. The open kitchen is intended as a showcase for promising young chefs. They are the perfect host; they cook, they serve and they clear the table. There is no menu, no choice. Farmhouse is everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The dining room features a single, 20 seat ‘operable’ communal table and bespoke, handmade chairs. Rigorous sourcing uncovered materials as old as the spaces providing inspiration. The joinery, table tops and chairs are handmade from Baltic pine flooring. Table pedestals are cut from discarded balustrading, beams are ex-wharf structures and sand stock bricks are ex-brick warehouse.
A matte black facade is employed for both the shop front and kitchen block to encapsulate the rustic farmhouse insertion and to boldly differentiate between old and new. The design of the ceiling makes full use of its double height and suggests that the dining room and its guests are occupying one half of the farmhouse.
Key to the design and workability of the restaurant is its functionality. The dining table and servery window successfully perform a primary function, whilst providing necessary thoroughfare with the use of operable components. In the case of the table, secondary leaves flip onto primary, fixed sections to provide both modularity and access to the full length banquette seat beyond. A matte black plate steel wall comprises a barn door which doubles as the servery window.
To accommodate the required 20 patrons, the kitchen and bathroom block occupy a tiny 9sqm footprint. The dining space is split in two by a causeway and houses a ‘store wall’ and dining table. The store wall simultaneously conceals fridges, dry store and appliances and showcases the inherent beauty of crockery, glassware and offerings. Individual table allocations are slim in an attempt to remove people, if ever so slightly, from their comfort zone in an effort to prompt conversation and promote new experience.
A farmhouse is simple, rustic, enduring and hardworking. In this regard, the materials are not simply used to demonstrate or highlight sustainable initiative or intent. They are relevant.
Photography: Michael Wee