The 2018 finalists of the globe-spanning Australian Interior Design Awards are in, and Victorian practices and projects represent a hefty slice of the shortlist.
Judges selected a number of projects from Melbourne as well as interiors in United Kingdom and China designed by Melbourne-based firms.
In the hospitality category, which includes hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants, Victorian projects dominated, accounting for more than half of the shortlist.
Finalists included the CBD’s new neon-lit Asian food hall HWKR, designed by Craig Tan Architects; the cathedral-like pizzeria Piccolino by Hachem; CBD bar Longsong by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, which is in a repurposed former stable loft with soaring ceilings; Above Board by Chris James Studio; the Brunetti Flinders Lane flagship, which is replete with lots of metal, marble and terrazzo, by Technē Architecture + Design; Prahran Market’s Q Le Baker by Adele Bates; Fitzroy’s Bentwood cafe by Ritz & Ghougassian; Angus and Bon steakhouse by Bergman & Co.; and Ishizuka, the 16-seat Japanese fine diner by Russell & George.
An old favourite in new clothes caught the jury’s attention, too. Cutler & Co.’s reference-mixing, synaesthesia-inspired reinvention in a century-old metalworks factory by IF Architecture also made the list.
Outside Melbourne, finalists include the new fine diner Wickens at the Royal Mail in Dulkeld by Byrne Architects; the Mornington Peninsula’s slick and sultry Jackalope hotel by Carr; Goulburn Valley’s Mitchelton Winery Hotel by Hecker Guthrie; and Point Leo Estate in Merricks by Jolson Architecture & Interiors; and the glamorous, sculptural Domaine Chandon restaurant-spas in the Yarra Valley, designed by Foolscap Studio.
Even further afield, Cremorne’s Biasol was shortlisted for its Budapest Café in China’s Sichuan province, which looked to Melbourne’s cafe culture for inspiration, and Prahran’s The Stella Collective was nominated for its interiors at Redroaster café in Brighton in the UK.
In retail, Melbourne finalists represented projects of all scales, from The Daily Edited’s pink and curvaceous Melbourne flagship by Pattern Studio, to NH Architecture’s design for the luxury offering at the T2 departures terminal at Melbourne Airport. Also shortlisted were Chris Connell Design for shoe store L'eclisse; Cox Architecture for Masons in Flinders Lane; Karen Abernethy for Craft; Russell & George for Space & Time; and Studio Edwards for Left.
One of the strongest categories this year for Victoria was residential design, which clocked 28 finalists from the state. Other categories in the awards include installation design, public design, residential decoration and workplace design.
The winners of the 2018 Australian Interior Design Awards will be announced over a three-course dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney on Friday May 25. The full shortlist is here.