Situated at the top of Little Bourke St, a precinct known for its established dining venues, Longsong provides a local stalwart with a seductive new offering. It opens a portal onto the site’s history and Melbourne’s story as a fast-evolving city still enriched by its past.
The space once functioned as horse stables for Angliss and Co. Built in 1900, the building’s history and unique heritage qualities – brick floors shaped by horses pawing their hooves, soaring ceilings, a steep entry ramp horses climbed to reach the loft from the street – became the design’s primary drivers.
JCB's initial design thinking focused on creating a series of architectural and decorative insertions to activate the existing fabric and history of the building while also accommodating the functional needs of the client. Three functional pods were mapped out for bar, amenities and kitchen respectively, with the client expressing a clear desire for these pods to appear as 'diamonds in the rough' within the existing space and program.
All functional and operational elements have purposely been exposed and highlighted allowing for a theatrical integrity within the space: the open kitchen with wood fire grill, open bar, exposed keg and wine store. Material inspiration was drawn from equine history and includes canvas, bricks, steel and timber. Flexibility was almost paramount to enable the zones to transfer into event spaces when required.
Eat Drink Design Awards: High Commendation for Best Restaurant
John van Haandel & David Moyle
Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec (Engineer); Jan Flook (Lighting); Bryce Raworth (Heritage); Sue Hodges Production (Heritage/ Signage)
W. O. Longmuir Pty Ltd; Cod Build Pty Ltd