• FLY CAFE Sydney, Australia | 1997

    A small and undistinguished shop and a modest budget were the starting points for the design of this cafe in Sydney’s entertainment strip just off George Street. It is an exercise in putting life and vitality into a hole in a wall, to entice the passerby who would otherwise be off to Hungry Jacks or McDonalds before or after the movies.An industrial scaled louvred shopfront makes an initial impact and allows an inside/outside connection without reverting to Sydney’s ubiquitous bifolding cafe doors.The walls, floor and ceiling are a dead grey tube of space, undifferentiated these 4 planes are simply the limits of the container, the life comes from the elements inserted into the tube. An orange rear wall marks the boundary between cafe and kitchen with a horizontal slot servery allowing glimpses between spaces.A cash desk and bar clad in the same grey jigsaw rubber tiles as the floor are separated by an aisle leading from the front door to the pivot door in the orange wall which in turn leads to the kitchen.The aisle divides the space into two zones, the smaller having tables for 4, while the larger has tables for 2 and 4 which can be joined together for larger groups.A large light box over the cash desk conceals the underside of the stair leading to the acting school on the upper levels, and provides general illumination to the rear of the space, dimmable flood lights provide additional indirect lighting, reflected off the ceiling.The cafe has been furnished with cheap and simple moulded white plastic chairs, around stainless steel tables with glow-in-the-dark laminate tops, which leave shadowy impressions of cutlery and plates when they are lifted from the surface.

    Photographer: Ross Honeysett

You are using an out of date web browser. To view this website please use a modern web browser