The ground floor of the 1924 Chancery Chambers heritage building was in need of some attention, after spending many years as a demanding Thai restaurant operation. The building itself is iconic; with its copper dome and curved corner façade, the Chancery Chambers is a distinctive building in the Heart of Auckland.
RCG were assisting the landlord with its property interests and the leasing of the space. We were subsequently invited to design the interior fitout for the new restaurant, Meat Fish Wine. Our aim was to revitalise what was once an iconic heritage space, to capture the elegance and authenticity of the building's era whilst embracing local design, materials and craft. We also wanted to design “talking points” that would make any dining experience unforgettable and worth talking about.
We decided very early on that we didn’t want to compete with the building's original architecture. The space needed to appeal to the local corporate catchment and allow for multiple private dining experiences, whilst also including spaces to facilitate open social gatherings. The idea of dining as a theatrical experience and designing “talking points” was initially interrogated. Both the entry way and bathrooms were identified to be key areas of theatrical moments. We also played with sense of interior/exterior and public/private through space planning, materials and lighting. Designing a one-way mirror that divides the communal hand washing area from the restaurant floor, whereby patrons can view back into the restaurant without being visible to the diners.
“Meat Fish Wine” embraces a frequently changing menu that celebrates local and seasonal produce and we wanted to reflect that in the design. A glowing koru shaped chandelier was crafted from Riedel crystal glasses. Each glass was individually back-lit and suspended at different levels off of the heritage ceiling. The organic form of the koru references the locality and is juxtaposed beautifully with the existing formal vaulted ceiling.
As a result...
Meat Fish Wine is highly acclaimed in the media, brings something fresh to the Auckland scene, and has been celebrated as one of the best high-end dining environments in Auckland. RCG are proud to have been an integral part of the process.