Cheshire Architects 61 The Hotel Restaurant
Creative DirectorNat Cheshire
Design DirectorDajiang Tai
Team MembersJin Young Jeong, Emily Priest
ClientBritomart GMB company
If you follow the smell of burning Pohutukawa tree branches you will find the restaurant occupying one end of Tuawhiti Lane in Britomart. Here, the idea of a restaurant has been deconstructed and re-configured within a 150-year-old heritage shell. Deliberately crafted by a carefully orchestrated spatial experience that celebrates the richness and complexity of Britomart.
Passing from The Hotel Britomart’s lobby to the restaurant entrance, you are greeted by a twenty-thousand-year-old Kauri trunk under a cloud of glass petals – a bar and a chandelier. To the left, the ancient tree ushers one towards an open wood fire, the building shell opens itself to the laneway, leaving itself partially outside whilst still retaining its interior-like qualities.
There is activity at every turn. Opposite you, a deep green mosaic-lined box acts as the backdrop to a theatre of chefs preparing exquisite dishes, the outside lined with firewood at the ready. Two fireplaces anchor the courtyard, one adding flavour to seasonal dishes, the other warmth for the patrons that surround it. Large groups or solitary guests are seated alongside marbled tables, fresh scented florals, and a tree lined laneway. You are at the heart of Tuawhiti lane, a spectator watching fine artisans and creators in action.
We were involved at every turn, from the bespoke cabinetry that lines the walls, to selecting locally designed stools or drafting the glass chandelier that drapes itself above the natural edged timber bar below. We wanted to create a space the spoke of wonder and delight, but paid homage to the fresh produce and local hands that create each masterpiece on a plate. Sea to plate, there is nothing better.