Agency Feature Part 2: The Uncarved Block – The Galeries Victoria Food Court
The second piece of work the Uncarved Block had shortlisted in the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards, was another food court. This time in The Galeries Victoria shopping centre. The previous food court was looking tired, located below ground level in Sydney’s CBD. Philip Chia came up with a new direction for the food court, one that would see it offer a new boutique style dining experience.
Much like the Melbourne Central food court, The Uncarved Block aimed to redefine a typical food court experience by creating more intimate areas with low lighting and shadows, whilst introducing a series of contrasting elements. Starting with a materials palette that combines raw concrete with natural warm timbers. Along with the integration of technology in to different parts of the food court; a full height wall of digital screens is used for promotions but also for inspiring messaging.
Feature pendants and cluster lighting by Tom Dixon among others are scattered around the different dining spaces to add to the feeling of individuality that the food court is trying to promote. Communal bench seating, marble effect table tops, and colourful stools all create their own dining identity within their own space in the food court.
The space is also very much about texture. Ceramics from Japan, were used for their sculptural qualities, the textures and relief patterns of these materials adding another layer of shadow and drama to the space. The main feature of this project is a sweeping staircase that connects this boutique food court with the rest of the mall above it. The mosaic tiles that clad the outside of the staircase reflect the changing light conditions as the staircase moves down from the more naturally lit ground floor of the mall to the subterranean level food court that has recessed lights in the base of the staircase washing light back up underneath it.
Colour and contrast play a big part in identifying the food court from the mall above it. The dark grey floor tiles, staircase and columns in the food court pop out against the white mall edge above it, adding intrigue and providing a destination for customers looking down in to the space.
Words my own, Images from Au.Architecture