Designed as a ‘pop-up’, a temporary feel was intrinsic to the original design. Sunda Bar & Restaurant features south-east Asian cuisine, so design references included paper lanterns which line the food laneways of Asia, which serve as both street lighting and signage. It holds 75 patrons in three dining areas which include communal tables.
Sunda Bar & Restaurant appears as a lightweight infill structure suspended in the leftover space between – and contrasting with – existing and more enduring boundary brick walls of its neighbours. Wrapped in woven metal mesh and lit from inside it forms a glowing lantern in Punch Lane.
It provides an alternative to the highly refined interiors common to hospitality spaces in Melbourne. Inside feels loose and casual, somehow between inside and outside. The neighbouring red brick walls are central to the interior palette and enrich the restraint of the new structure.
The use of unpainted scaffold with exposed tube and coupler fixings, clamped on lighting, and raw timber finish, connotes the temporary while also accommodating the essential needs of the restaurant in a restrained manner. Custom stools and the off-form concrete bar enhance the comfort of the dining experience.