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News

Eat Drink Design Awards 2021 Winners Revealed

An annual event, the Eat Drink Design Awards celebrate the best of innovative design and architecture with Australia’s exceptional hospitality venues revealed.
Project
Little Prince Wine
Architect
IF Architecture
Photography
Sharyn Cairns
Project
CicciBella
Architect
Fiona Lynch Interior Design
Photography
Pablo Veiga
Project
Agnes
Architect
Amok
Photography
Cathy Schusler
Project
Industry Beans Brisbane
Architect
Architect:
Photography
Andy Macpherson
Project
Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street
Architect
Bates Smart
Photography
Sean Fennessy
Project
NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions
Architect
BoardGrove Architects
Photography
Rory Gardiner
Project
Hazel
Architect
One&Other
Photography
Pete Dillion
POSTED
06.12.2021

With a focus on community spaces, the awards highlight the best in both hospitality and retail venues. A key consideration of the awards is the way in which these spaces have established a visual identity and contribute to their local neighbourhood and surrounding environment.

More than simply a place of commercial exchange, the award seeks to examine how the spaces create a sense of community for their customers and indeed to the community in which they are located. With a serious lack of connection and isolation during the past 18 months, a focus on the best venues displaying the best of design and of service is sure to set the senses alight. 

Cassie Hansen, editor of Artichoke and Eat Drink Design Award jury chair, explained that the Awards are a prism through which we can analyse the influences and shifting design narratives in the always evolving, and competitive hospitality industry.

“If there was an overarching trend across this year’s entries, we can see strong evidence of the restrained and the residential. There was a shift toward more utilitarian materials, creating future-forward spaces that avoid fuss and decoration. However, when decoration did appear, it carried a distinctly residential touch, with some venues in Adelaide and Auckland feeling less like restaurants and more like much-loved homes. It’s in these sorts of homely spaces that we often have the best hospitality experiences,” said Hansen.

With awards offered across seven categories, there are recognitions and winners for the Best Bar Design, Best Restaurant Design, Best Cafe Design, Best Installation Design, Best Hotel Design, Best Retail Design, Best Identity Design. The esteemed jury includes industry leaders, Sarah Cosentino, co-director of Studio Esteta, Anthony Gill, founder of Anthony Gill Architects, Katie McCormack, restaurateur of Congress, Future Future and Lagotto, Matt Shea, editor-at-large of Broadsheet Brisbane and Cassie Hansen of Artichoke.

Amongst the winners of the 2021 Eat Drink Design Awards was Little Prince Wine by IF Architecture, taking out the Best Bar Design for 2021. Located beneath St Kilda’s iconic Prince Hotel, Little Prince Wine is a considerate and sheltered space that seemingly has always existed beneath the bowels of the iconic venue - such is the consideration of the design.

The Best Restaurant design category produced two winners with Parramatta eatery, CicciBella by Fiona Lynch Interior Design and Agnes by Amok in QLD as sophisticated, thoughtful eateries with chiselled textures.

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Also in QLD, Best Cafe Design was awarded to the sprawling, bright and airy Industry Beans Brisbane by Platform by DesignOffice, another feat for the Sunshine State which fared very strongly in this year’s award. 

Taking out Best Hotel Design for 2021 was Melbourne’s Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street by Bates Smart for its dual sophisticated lobby dining and drinking destinations. Also located in the cultural capital are the Best Retail and Best Identity Design winners, Little Prince by IF Architecture and Hazel by One&Other, respectively.

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The dreamy, Murray Darling inspired outdoor pavilion spaces by BoardGrove Architects at the NGV took out the best installation design for their NGV Triennial 2020 Outdoor Pavilions.

Alongside the awards for recent projects, each year, an iconic Australian venue that is over 10 years old is inducted into the ‘Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame’. Previous nominees include the inimitable Icebergs, in Bondi, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, as well as Melbourne’s hospitality venues Cumulus Inc, Cookie and Gin Palace.

The 2021 entry into the venerated Eat Drink Design Awards Hall of Fame is the Darlinghurst icon that has arguably acted as the blueprint for modern cafes the world over, Bill’s Darlinghurst.

Analysing other design narratives that emerged from the Awards, Cassie explained that Australia’s love affair with the local pub still burns bright, but gone are the days of the lackluster hotel bar and eatery. Instead, Australasia is following the model of places like New York and Europe where the hotel hospitality offerings adjoining the lobby are destinations in themselves.

“We have seen a number of once working-class pubs thoughtfully reimagined for a new, gentrified demographic whilst still paying strong homage to its original architectural and community intentions. We also witnessed an Australian renaissance of the hotel restaurant and bar, with especially strong hospitality offerings in Melbourne with the new and district hotels that have emerged since 2019,” said Cassie.

“Finally, Brisbane’s rise as a formidable food destination was reflected in this year’s awards. The Queensland capital’s booming restaurant, bar and cafe scene was underrepresented, with just four entries across the entire awards, but two won their respective categories and a third was shortlisted. Watch this space.”

“If there was an overarching trend across this year’s entries, we can see strong evidence of the restrained and the residential. There was a shift toward more utilitarian materials, creating future-forward spaces that avoid fuss and decoration.”

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“If there was an overarching trend across this year’s entries, we can see strong evidence of the restrained and the residential. There was a shift toward more utilitarian materials, creating future-forward spaces that avoid fuss and decoration.”

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