The design team at Studio Y referenced South African crafts, materiality, art and fashion during the refurbishment of Nando’s in Clayton, Melbourne. The contemporary expression of traditional South African motifs allowed Studio Y to creatively bring the restaurant into the new decade.

Featuring bold colours, textures and patterns, the revitalised Nando’s extends a warm welcome to guests with a Patrick Bongoy artwork at the entrance. Extensive pops of colour and beautifully woven textures, inspired by South African fashion, guide customers along the restaurant’s circulation paths.

The bold use of colour is balanced against a fairly neutral palette consisting of natural finishes and surfaces including cork, timber and brick­, with their warm hues and honest textures reflecting Nando’s value of quality.

While these materials add aesthetic value to the interiors, what makes them stand out is their clever application by the design team in striking geometric patterns, which effortlessly guide customers through the space.

Antico Casale Bruciato brick tiles from Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd have been used extensively on the floor, columns and wall splashbacks in a bold, repetitive pattern that changes direction at critical points in the floor plan.

“We needed a tile that was hardwearing, did not need sealing and was in beautiful ochre hues. Antico Casale Bruciato brick tiles ticked all of these boxes. It’s also very competitively priced and the colour variation gives it a very authentic look and feel, which aligned well with the Nando’s brand,” Studio Y says.

The texture and hue of the brick tiles contrast well with the smooth finish of the timber lining on the ceiling, which is also laid in alternating patterns, as well as with the cork cladding, laid in geometric shapes in two colours on the walls.

Studio Y’s thoughtful design not only is visually appealing but also makes perfect use of the site’s rather challenging circular footprint. The design team has skilfully flanked the curved surfaces with booths and banquettes that look inward, cleverly making sense of the curves without leaving any space unused.

Studio Y’s first project for Nando’s has drawn appreciation from the management as the design has been able to successfully align the space with the look and feel of the company’s newer restaurants.