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As part of a tenancy upgrade in the current Qantas Domestic terminal at Perth Airport, the client sought to introduce two new distinct food brands into one operating space. The tenancy was fraught with design challenges as the building had not been upgraded since built in the 1960’s, and the area formed part of a lowered section of the building and presented as a sunken space against the greater terminal area.
Working with a limited and very defined budget, the design solution presented was to use the lowered ceiling area as a focal definition to the space to create sightlines and attention into the area. The tenancy footprints backed into one another, creating one operating space, but essentially look away from each other. Customer traffic was drawn through the space using sightlines, colour, texture and pattern. Using devices such as the flooring provided the opportunity to draw diners into the space by following the diagonally placed timber boards which graduate into a darker tone. The intention of the design was to create two distinct food offers within the one operating space.
Billi Chu is a colourful, vibrant space enlisting yellow and fluorescent orange against a graphic backdrop. Sheets of ply panelling are overlaid with Asian street style posters, with both the design and food offering acknowledging Perth’s close proximity to Asia. Movement and depth are added to this via the inclusion of LCD screens depicting Asian street scenes fitted into the ply panelling. The overall effect is a lively, immersing space with the ability to, momentarily, transport the diner to an authentic Asian St.
The Food Store also references location – this time by offering local Western Australian grown and produced food and great coffee. The design reflects this by delivering a sense of ‘freshness’ through muted tones and via the incorporation of natural materials and artisan features. The experience is very much that the diner could be in their local café or deli, with emphasis on presentation of fresh food and produce.
The space delivers two tenancies that present as independent spaces but they perform their roles with designed efficiency. The single tenancy has been successfully and demarcated into two very distinct hospitality spaces that lead into each other without interrupting the fluidity of foot traffic within the peak-driven airport.
The client brief gave the opportunity to bring ‘high street’ food to the airport incorporating one of the key trends in hospitality – experience dining. With fewer walls to define the space, stronger and more innovative design practices must be enlisted to compete with other tenancies and the vast communal space. This project also demonstrates how versatile a space with only one kitchen can be if the food offering is tailored accordingly. With a strategic client and designer partnership, one space can be transformed into two distinct dining experiences and delivered simultaneously.