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The Penny Drop Takes Global Design Prize


The annual Restaurant & Bar Design Awards is a prestigious global awards event, and naturally, attracts impressive entries from all over the world. This year, we’re proud as punch to report that a venue in Melbourne’s Box Hill took out the top prize.

Today we take a tour of The Penny Drop cafe and restaurant, designed by Golden (formerly We are Huntly), which was named joint ‘overall winner’ at the awards ceremony in London last month.

9th November, 2017

Inside The Penny Drop in Box Hill, Melbourne. Photo – Brooke Holm.

The venue has taken out the top prize of Best Restaurant at the international 2017 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. Photo – Brooke Holm.

The space was designed by Golden (formerly We are Huntly). Photo – Brooke Holm.

The Penny Drop is located underneath the new Australian Tax Office building. Photo – Brooke Holm.

Art deco light fittings and textured surfaces were introduced into what was a large commercial shell. Photo – Brooke Holm.

The design team was lead by Golden’s co-directors Kylie Dorotic and Alicia McKimm. Photo – Brooke Holm.

The designers set out to create a playful, classy café-restaurant. Photo – Brooke Holm.

Old-world materials such as dark timber veneers, Dalmation-speckled granite and gold fixtures feature prominently. Photo – Brooke Holm.

There are also circular forms a-plenty throughout the space. Photo – Brooke Holm.

Mirrors, light fittings, door handles all reference circlular motifs. Photo – Brooke Holm.

The 350-square-metre space was built by S&K Group. Photo – Brooke Holm.

Even the wall curves! Photo – Brooke Holm.

Signature brass penny pendants, angled for fun. Photo – Brooke Holm.

Photography – Brooke Holm.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 9th November 2017

The Penny Drop started from humble beginnings, as a little local coffee pop-up, where hundreds of local commuters would get their morning caffeine fix. After quickly gaining a loyal following, the owners realised there was a gap in the market for a vibrant all-day eatery in Box Hill, and as they say, the penny dropped!

Today, the venue is a 350-square-metre, 100-seater restaurant with the swish-est fit-out in the East! Occupying the ground floor of the brand new Australian Tax Office building (shudder!), the interior scheme brings together a layered palette of charcoal upholstery and olive green finishes, whitewashed timbers, rose-gold accents, art-deco inspired curves, a dalmation-speckled granite service counter and signature brass penny pendants – angled for fun!

The project was designed by Kylie Dorotic and Alicia McKimm of Melbourne design studio Golden – who’ve since gone on to create a London outpost for The Penny Drop. Global domination imminent!

 The Penny Drop
913 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill, VIC

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