Higher Ground is a new cafe and restaurant designed by leading architectural firm Design Office in Melbourne. Previously a disused power station, Higher Ground, the restaurant has been created from the old industrial brick building with six new connected levels added to the original structure in a series of tiered platforms.

The reimagined former power station is today an all-day hospitality destination in Melbourne’s CBD, with the interiors focussed on creating an intimate ambience for patrons while the layered atmosphere evokes the feeling of a hotel lobby.

The original building’s brick and concrete elements have been retained in the new design to create a vast palette of textures and hues, with new features contrasting with the depth of the existing materials while maintaining the architectural integrity of the building. The project’s brief sought intimacy in a large space, which was achieved with the layered design.

Black Valchromat panels from Polytec were used in the Higher Ground project, adding to the intimate vibe with their seductive dark tones in the large space. Valchromat architectural coloured fibreboard panels by Polytec can be routed into desired shapes and further embellished using varnish, wax or any other coating to create striking designer looks without any surface preparation needed prior to coating.