ciao cielo & ciao cucina, port melbourne

The passage of time has cast a Piranesian character over the 1860 Port Melbourne Courthouse providing a beautiful textural patina against which the refined modern interventions counterpoint. A white and grey veined porcelain bar, crowned by a suspended tracery of steel housing glasses and spirits provides the centrepiece in a sea of timeless thonet chairs and tables surrounded by a leather upholstered banquette. To support the dining hall, a deferential extension shadows the heritage structure accommodating state of the art expansive cooking facilities, amenities, stores as well as a casual eating space. The connection between historic and new is carefully delineated through a glazed rooflight which also illuminates the textural character of the historic brickwork.  In addition large skylights with suspended planting trangress the casual eating area and together with glazed folding doors opening up to the garden, imbue a relaxed outdoor ambience.

photographer: Kevin Li