Café Vue at 401 St Kilda Road

Café Vue at 401 St Kilda Road

Architect
Elenberg Fraser Architecture
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Project Year
2009
Category
Restaurants

Café Vue at 401 St Kilda Road

Elenberg Fraser Architecture as Architects

As Marie Antoinette brought some of the free spirit of her childhood in the Hapsburg’s Austrian court to the strait-laced court of Versailles, breaking down generations old traditions of dining, fashion and decoration, so Café Vue provides a more casual dining space to still experience the quality produce and unique experience of the Vue brand, than Vue de monde or Bistro Vue. Fittingly, in more ways than one, Café Vue at 401 St Kilda Rd is inspired by the life and times of Versailles – where living was art. The journey through the restaurant is literally a day in the life of Marie Antoinette. Beginning with the entry through the garden parterre, which is evoked in the topiary entry sign, we traverse the palace rooms of the Hall of Mirrors, Grande Couvert, Salle de Bal and Salon de Noble before ending in the place of execution and ablution - the wet areas – which is decorated entirely in the red of Marie Antoinette’s blood. The Hall of Mirrors served as the main venue for royal and court functions in Versailles. In Café Vue the black and white tiled main reception reflects the look and feel of this important space. The alcoves of the Hall, which at Versailles, were decorated with eye-catching sculptures of prominent politicians or philosophers, have been re-imagined as food service areas, where the produce and food become the art itself. The royal family’s Grande Couvert, their special dining area, is found here too. The private dining table sits underneath a boned, wooden structure that cheekily references the Queen’s corset. The mirrored tabletop gives you a glimpse up her skirt! The restaurant is also demarcated into formal and casual dining areas – the Salon de Noble has the parquetry floors of this room folded up over joinery units, whereas the Salle de Bal has smaller, lower settings topped with custom designed laminate mimicking timber inlay and linen napery. Furniture and finishings are ornate and opulent. Decorative parquetry and tiled floors fold up to make joinery units – objects literally sit into the floor. Marie herself appears in the feminine metallic topiary sculptures by Emily Floyd. Café Vue at 401 St Kilda Road is a modern reinterpretation of the life of one who is synonymous with irreverent style – as the Queen herself would say – let them eat cake!

Project Credits
Library of Birmingham
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Library of Birmingham

Libraries, Exhibitions and Theaters
Birmingham, United Kingdom - Build completed in 2013
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