2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Photo Credit : Sharyn Cairns sharyn@sharyncairns.com.au


Project Overview

HASSELL was involved in the design of three outlets: Outpost Dining Room, Mopho and Deba. Each outlet, with different clients, reflects the broader precinct aspiration to balance diversity design outcomes within the lane way. Each outlet is designed to feel as though a unique entity, allowing the lane way to be characterised by the diversity of individual shops; a village high street.

Project Commissioner

Micheal L Yates & Co.

Project Creator



Scott Walker and Rebecca Trenorden lead the project team within HASSELL to successfully deliver the three unique venues.

HASSELL, working with Bird dela Coeur architecture, sought to establish this Michael Yates & Co. developed laneway, a as fundamental piece in a new retail and hospitality jigsaw that connects Yarra Street through to Chapel Street in South Yarra.

Project Brief

Outpost Dining Room is an unabashed celebration of the food experience driven by the chef and owner’s desire to serve fresh ingredients in a simple way. Designed with a simple aesthetic in mind, the restaurant offers home-style dishes as a communal dining experience.

Mopho Noodle was designed to respond to chef Ben Cooper’s pan-Asian style culinary masterpieces. Elements of a hawker’s bazaar and abstract imagery of cheeky Shanghai models from the 1950s add to the energy of the space. Mopho Noodle is a balance of bold complexities, adhering to a philosophy that creates a powerful dining experience.

Deba, derived from the Japanese carving knife, Deba bocho, is designed for strength and precision. The space is quiet and contemplative, a respite from the hustle and bustle of the lane.

Project Innovation / Need

Working with the chef, we understood the value of craftsmanship and authentic, fresh ingredients to the success of the Dining Room. In keeping with the importance of that authenticity, we extend our research and design concept to explore pre-industrial decorative arts and craftsmanship.

The kitchen was treated as an open, interactive feature in Mopho Noodle without it being over-exposed and purely about function. We put a lot of thought into maintaining the casual aesthetic without it looking untidy and ensuring the space was acoustically comfortable while maintaining the aesthetic of hard finishes.

Deba’s gloss white tiling edged in timber emulated the cleanness of a Japanese bath house, while the Koi fish mosaic and noren curtains evoke the serenity of a Japanese tea garden.

Design Challenge

Understanding and acknowledging the importance of street activation to the success of this new residential and commercial development is a key driver in the precincts success and fulfilment of the client’s brief.

In all three instances; Outpost, Mopho and Deba, the shop fronts are designed to reflect the nature of the dining character inside. Each shop front not only hints at the interior experience but also opens out, allowing food collaboration to spill into the lane way. The success of this project is measured not only in the activity of these restaurants and bars, but also the increase activation of people now using this Lane as a place of destination.


A large number of found objects sourced locally in Melbourne were introduced within the design of Outpost Dining, including a recycled shopfront, door handles, an ice sink and some artwork. The shopfront was a collection of sash windows which were combined with new smaller square windows by a joiner. Recycled timbers were used to construct the body of the shopfront before a lime wash was applied. The end grain of the recycled timber can be seen in various details as it was important that its integrity be displayed. The facade also allows air into the space, only requiring the air-conditioner in extreme circumstances.

This award recognises building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation. Consideration given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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