Tom Mark Henry 13 Cucina Porto

Hospitality 2021 Credits
  • Creative Director
    Jade Nottage
  • Design Director
    Jade Nottage
  • Team Members
    Carla Matias, Pia Watson, Lauren Brown, Kelly Doyle
  • Contributors
    Lisa Zelinger (The Star Entertainment Group), Fugen Constructions, Taylor Thomson Whitting (Structural Engineer), JN Engineering Constultants, Webb Australia, Damian Bennett (Photography)

Cucina Porto offers an Italian dining experience set within a richly layered interior. A space designed to exude the warmth and familiarity of dropping into a friend’s place for dinner, whilst seamlessly transitioning from day to night.

With the brief provided to create a premium casual offering, the juxtapositions continue seeing old-world detailing mixed with modern aesthetics and sensibilities. Reminiscent of an Italian apartment building, framed glazing as well as solid rendered sections of the façade come together with brass accents, inset tile detailing and a stepped-in Palladiana stone floor, perfectly setting the tone. Textural and bold, executed with restraint, the aesthetic reflects the culinary offering of Cucina Porto; a selection of classic Italian dishes accompanied by the bar serving up a selection of Negronis, classic cocktails, spritz varieties as well as local and Italian wine and beer. Although a residential feel has been created within the space, durability of materials, furniture and fixtures was front and centre when specifying, ensuring longevity and suitability for long term, repeated use. The design may be contemporary in approach, however, Cucina Porto is timeless and classic, ensuring relevancy for years to come.

The large site meant spatial planning was of the utmost importance and was tirelessly reworked until the most successful floorplan was achieved. A variety of seating options have been applied including banquette seating, bar seating, loose seating and large communal tables. The ambient and elegantly moody private dining room offers a different experience, with bold and richly saturated inset carpet, layered sheer curtains and a sculptural brass pendant light, creating a luxe and modern European aesthetic. The space has been designed to offer various experiences, depending on where one is situated. Due to this, a sense of intrigue is created, seeing the diner encouraged to return to further explore the space for a new dining experience. A sense of unity is present through the cohesive use of materials - marble, brass, textured fabrics, mirror and decorative lighting are seen throughout, creating a strong and unique narrative. Foregoing the often-referenced cliché hallmarks of an Italian restaurant, Cucina Porto offers a fresh and sophisticated perspective through a modern European aesthetic.