The sixth annual Restaurant and Bar Design Awards were announced in London on September 25, with three Australian projects recognised for their innovative and unique designs.

Figureground Architecture took home the top UK & International Café prize for Industry Beans, a café and roastery in Melbourne’s Fitzroy that required a café dining area, commercial kitchen, external covered seating, and administration and commercial roasting facilities, including cupping and coffee bean storage areas.

“The main challenge for us was how to transform a vast industrial shell into an inviting and comfortable space on a limited budget,” say the architects.

“Located on a backstreet in a semi-industrial neighbourhood it was also important that there was a streetscape presence that could attract the attention of passing clientele.”

Capitalising on the existing spaces, the team stacked staff and admin areas above the kitchen and service counter, essentially creating a ‘building within a building’. Internally, the double height pallet façade gives the sense of entering an intimate laneway space – the quintessential Melbourne experience.

Both internal façade and front polycarbonate façade feature pivoting and flipping panels to create a playful habitation while naturally ventilating the warehouse space.

Pascale Gomes-Mcnabb Design also did well at the awards, with their Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant winning the Australia & Pacific Restaurant category. Capturing the spirit of Penfolds, the space pays tribute to the iconic Australian brand, its place and its history.

“Very artful arrangement of solitaire pieces with a blend of rich materials and colour accents, this provides the space with a sense of elegance and chic. Wall decoration lightens up the scene,” praised Niko Saurma, judge for the awards and vice president of design at Swarovski.

Howler in Melbourne by Splinter Society Architecture was awarded the Australia & Pacific Bar category. The brief for this 1,000sqm shell was to create a venue with a hidden local feel for up to 700 people attending multiple, simultaneous artistic activities, or just the individual grabbing a relaxed midday coffee.

Lighting design using shadows and colour to fill voids and give accents bring life to Howler, while a palette of simple, recycled and low cost materials, along with basic construction techniques, give a hand-crafted feeling of texture, tactility and warmth.

However, Australia ultimately lost out to France and China, with Join Manku’s Les Haras named the Best overall restaurant, and A.N.D’s FEI the Best overall bar.

The Restaurant and Bar Design Awards are dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces, covering spaces from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and revered Michelin-starred establishments to fleeting pop-ups. This year saw over 280 entries from over 60 countries, with judges ranging from chefs, to artists, editors, and designers.

Overall Winners

Best overall restaurant / Les Haras (France) / Jouin Manku

Best overall bar / FEI (China) / A.N.D.

Category Winners


Fast – Casual / Cornerstone Café (London) / Paul Crofts Studio

London Bar / Topolski (London) / B3 Designers

London Restaurant / Beagle (London) / Fabled Studio

Multiple bar or club / The Vintry (London) / Harrison

Multiple restaurant / Ping Pong (London) / Superfutures

Pub / Tap on the Line (London) / Concorde BGW

Restaurant or bar in a heritage building / Christopher’s Bar (London / De Matos Ryan

Restaurant or bar in a hotel / Ametsa with Arzak Instruction (London) / Ab Rogers Design

Restaurant or bar in a retail space / One Canada Square (London) / David Collins Studio

Restaurant or bar in another space / The Magazine (London) / Zaha Hadid Architects

Standalone bar or club / Mr Fogg’s (London) / d_raw

Standalone Restaurant / Whyte and Brown (London) / Blacksheep

UK & International

Decorative Lighting / Aluminium Flower Garden (Japan) / Moriyuki Ochiai Architects

Outside / BrewDog (Brazil) / CM Design Consultants

Pop Up / Sleep Bar (London) / Nous Design

Café / Industry Beans (Australia) / Figureground Architecture

Identity / Miss Ko (France) / GBH

Lighting scheme / Hutong Shard (London) / Into Lighting & David Yeo

Surface interiors / Intersect by Lexus (Japan) / Wonderwall


Asia bar / FEI (China) / A.N.D.

Asia restaurant / Tsukimichi (Japan) / Spinifex

Australia & Pacific bar / Howler (Australia) / Splinter Society Architecture

Australia & Pacific restaurant / Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant (Australia) / Pascale Gomes-Mcnabb Design

Europe bar / Night Flight (Bulgaria) / Mode

Europe restaurant / Les Haras (France) / Jouin Manku

Middle East & Africa bar / Bapas (UAE) / LW Design Group

Middle East & Africa restaurant / Topolopompo (Israel) / Baranowitz Kronenberg Architecture

Americas bar / Tørst (USA) / hOmE

Americas restaurant / The Musket Room (USA) / Alexander Waterworth Interiors