Designer Vince Frost joined up with top Australian chef Steve Manfredi to bring a sense of Sydney’s undulating coastline directly to the dining table, writes Nicole Azzopardi
“The brief for the refurbishment of Coast restaurant was a demanding one.
Coast’s owner Tim Connell had decided to revamp the restaurant which had been running for 10 years and approached us to design something that would reflect the Sydney coastline without relying on the usual clichés.
Coast’s original design had been very minimalistic, which was fashionable at the time. The approach this time round had to be much warmer and much more dramatic, but have the feel of a beach house as it’s got a fantastic view of the harbour at Cockle Bay.
The best thing about being in Sydney is being by the coast and when you go to any beach you constantly look out into the ocean at the next big wave.
We wanted to create a design that would celebrate that very typical Sydney pastime.
With this in mind, we liaised with Coast’s head chef, Steve Manfredi and his business partner Julie Manfredi-Hughes to create an actual coastline suspended from the ceiling.
This dramatic overhead installation stretches along the entire 30-metre length of the restaurant and was constructed from translucent yellow acrylic and down-lit with LED lights to create a stunning light-scape.
We wanted it to feel as though diners were sitting on a kind of horizon but didn’t know it would end up looking almost like an enormous ribbon flowing through the place.
During the day, the sunlight penetrates the acrylic to bathe the space in a golden glow. Together the lighting and the coastal forms help to create greater intimacy in what was quite a large impersonal space.
The lighting feature’s visibility through the full height glazing helps to promote the restaurant in a busy dining and entertainment precinct.
Running in a 30-metre panel along the entire length of the restaurant is a giant turquoise green image of Clovelly Beach at dusk taken by Australian photographer Stephen Ward.
It’s a very beautiful image, tranquil, soothing and almost dreamlike.
We liked the image so much we chose to use it on all the restaurant’s menus and wine labels.
Fresh white walls give the restaurant a fresh, cool feeling, while the black and white fabric on the dining chairs keep things crisp.
The name of the restaurant is displayed on a huge 1.2-metre yellow curve—the top half of the letter ‘c’.
It’s as if the word ‘coast’ is disappearing over the horizon. At night, the inside of the curve is lit up, creating an alluring gradient of colour and light.”
The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf,
201 Sussex Street
Cockle Bay, Sydney NSW
Ph: (02) 9267 6700