Cheshire Architects 61 Mr Morris
Creative DirectorNat Cheshire
Design DirectorDajiang Tai
Team MembersJames Ting, Fraser Horton, Emily Priest
ClientMr Morris Eatery
Mr Morris does not have a theme. It is not that kind of place. It is a simpler, more honest thing than that. It is warm, comfortable, welcoming and lets itself be a little rough around its carefully curated edges.
Located in Downtown Auckland’s Britomart, the restaurant’s understated character comes from the careful interplay of old against new. Several finely crafted objects, in a muted but richly textured tonal palette, have been carefully inserted into the dilapidated shell of a former warehouse, each object formed to collide with its bare-plastered walls.
The front entrance is a humble glazed door, tucked to the side of a large hand painted series by Shane Cotton to its facade. A cast bronze ili (Samoan fan) as the door handle to the restaurant, giving expression to a humble object and reflecting the client's Samoan heritage.
Lined in a warm oak, this fast-growing, hard, and renewable timber offers a soft and consistent pallet, its curved seating and cabinetry a counterbalance to the rough old brick and plaster of this once roaring trade house. The loading dock is now a conservatory, the warehouse now the dining room.
A small kitchen flame burns at the centre of the room. The chef is here, his eyes on every table and his patrons. A kitchen is assembled around the fire, and its tables assembled around the kitchen. Across the room, drinks are prepared at an open stone bench.
In the basement, once a bank vault, is a dark and delicious cave: a cellar and private dining room with its own kitchen.