Each year, the Eat Drink Design Awards judge the best hotel interior designs made during the previous year. Due to the pandemic, this year’s awards cover design projects completed between July 2019 and June 2021. When the shortlist was dropped in August, jury chair Cassie Hansen, editor-in-chief of Artichoke magazine, said the shortlisted venues impressed the panel for honoring their past “in a modern and beautiful way.”
The winners, announced on December 2, recognize excellence and innovation in the design of permanent and temporary hospital spaces and retail spaces after a few difficult years for the industry.
“If there was a general trend among this year’s entries, [it’s] strong evidence of restraint and residential, ”Hansen said in a statement.
“There has been an evolution towards more utilitarian materials, creating forward-looking spaces that avoid the hassle and decoration. However, when the decor first appeared, it had a distinctly residential touch, with some places in Adelaide and Auckland feeling less like restaurants and more beloved homes, ”she said.
Best bar design went to the sleek Little Prince Wine bar in St Kilda, designed by IF Architecture. Best Cafe Design went to Beans Newstead, Queensland, Light and Airy Industry by Platform by DesignOffice. And the best restaurant design went to two restaurants – the industrial-looking Parramatta Restaurant Cicciabella, by Fiona Lynch Interior Design, and the Dark and Dark Agnes of Brisbane by Amok.
“Both shone as sophisticated, thoughtful restaurants with chiseled textures,” the jury said.
Best Hotel Design went to the Hilton Melbourne hotel on Little Queen Street, by Bates Smart, for its sophisticated restaurants and bars in the lobby. Little Prince Wine also took home the award for Best Retail, and Melbourne Restaurant Hazel took home the award for Best Identity Design for her art deco illustrated designs by One & Other.
The best industrial design went to the NGV Triennial 2020 exterior pavilions, created by Board Grove Architects. But the Big Dog Award – Hall of Fame – went to a long-standing and beloved cafe that “has arguably served as a model for modern cafes around the world,” the jury said. This warm and bright cafe is Bill’s Darlinghurst. Thank you Bill Granger for 10 years of excellent brunches in a beautiful setting.