Cutler & Co.

At one of Melbourne’s most respected fine-dining restaurants, our completely new interior architecture uses colour and texture to expand on the sensory experience of eating wonderful food.

Courtesy of Broadsheet ©2016

When we start­ed the new design for Cut­ler & Co, the Fitzroy restau­rant had been at the pin­na­cle of the local hos­pi­tal­i­ty scene for eight years. Its offer­ing and its inte­ri­or need­ed to be reimag­ined. Inspired by chef and restau­ra­teur Andrew McConnell’s focus on extra­or­di­nary food above all else, we devel­oped a design con­cept around the con­nec­tions and crossovers between the senses.

Fitzroy, Wurund­jeri Woi Wur­rung Land



Floor Area


Imag­ine this… See­ing a city sky­line and tast­ing black­ber­ries. Or hear­ing a vio­lin and feel­ing a tick­ling sen­sa­tion on your left knee. Or think­ing Wednes­days are light red. You’d be in good com­pa­ny — amongst the likes of Aphex Twin, Tori Amos, Leonard Bern­stein, Mary J Blige, Bil­ly Joel, Kanye West, Robin Hitch­cock, David Hock­ney, Eddie Van Halen and more — who expe­ri­ence what is known as Synes­the­sia: when sens­es collide.

In the main din­ing room, a wall clad to half-height in mar­bled green Pil­bara stone is matched with booth seat­ing uphol­stered in moss-green nubuck leather. The rich colours bring to mind a herba­ceous leafi­ness, while the deli­cious con­trast between the pol­ished stone, soft leather and rough old brick wall echoes the cru­cial role that tex­tur­al con­trast plays in food. 

The din­ing room pro­vides a range of seat­ing options — herba­ceous” booths, uphol­stered chairs placed around Amer­i­can oak tables, and curved ban­quettes in earthy” choco­late-brown leather — accom­mo­dat­ing a mix of cou­ples and small groups. At the cen­tre of the space, the ele­gant form and mate­ri­al­i­ty of a waiter’s sta­tion craft­ed from bronze, tim­ber and stone reaf­firms that this is a place where both food and ser­vice are tak­en seriously.

As part of our redesign, the entire venue was restruc­tured. There’s now a bar in the front sec­tion, per­fect for a pre-din­ner drink or casu­al meal; the din­ing room, at the heart of the venue; and at the rear, an addi­tion­al space for gen­er­al din­ing and events. The three spaces are con­nect­ed visu­al­ly through steel-framed glass doors, but each has a dis­tinct feel.

The bar, with its leather-uphol­stered stools, high mar­ble-topped tables and oak-framed arm­chairs, draws ener­gy from the traf­fic and trams of Gertrude Street, and from the activ­i­ty in the adja­cent open kitchen. 

The din­ing room by con­trast has a con­tained, focused ambi­ence. And the third space, with its smoke-grey car­pet, lounge seat­ing, open fire­place and large win­dow look­ing out over tin roofs and brick chim­neys, feels decid­ed­ly more relaxed.

Cut­ler & Co’s new inte­ri­or stim­u­lates the sens­es with its con­trast­ing colour and tex­ture and rich mate­ri­al­i­ty, mak­ing it the per­fect appe­tiz­er for Andrew McConnell’s world-class cuisine.