Landscape Architecture, Horticulture Procurement, Installation & Maintenance
Nestled in the buzzing heart of South Yarra, Abacus serves up elegantly simple dishes from brunch through to dinner. The brief was around creating an oasis within the busy surrounds of Chapel St. A place that would exude biophilia and connect patrons with nature, which is a philosophy echoed by the “paddock-to-plate” menu offering.
In close collaboration with Architects EAT, our design teams worked together to transform this former Westpac Bank through a palette of concrete, timber and marble, with our horticulture team implementing all the planting.
The centrepiece of our scheme is the Ficus hilli, which at 7.5 metres tall is – A. bloody hard to miss and B. where the whole feeling of an oasis is derived from. The area then flows out into a series of seating areas where our design provides a bit of natural privacy screening and also reinforces the feeling of biodiversity through the use of plants such as Philodendron Xanadu, Zamia furfuracea, Asplenium nidus and Dianella tasmanica. The building is clad by trained climbers – Hoya australis which really creates a feeling of greenery and locality. It’s like being being lost in the bush, except for the piping hot lattes, avocado wedges and pumpkin croquettes.
Abacus was shortlisted for best restaurant in the 2017 Eat Drink Design Awards and continues to inspire us around rethinking how people interact and dine in restaurants. It continues to grow with time, so much so it’s crept its way to Ringwood.