One out of the box

as featured in
Bold splashes of orange and a strong, simple design ensure this contemporary noodle bar stands out from its neighbours
Interior of noodle bar with contrasting timber floor, architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, interior design, real estate, table, wall, wood, wood flooring, gray, brown
Interior of noodle bar with contrasting timber floor, white tables extending out through glass doors, stools and downlights.

Some commercial projects require an architect to not only come up with an appropriate design, but also to help establish a company's branding concept.

John Mills Architects in Wellington faced such a challenge when designing the fitout for the Boxo noodle bar. Project architect Michael Melville says the owners wanted a trendy, contemporary fitout with a clean, strong presence.

"We talked at length about Boxo's image, and creating a striking design that would catch the eye of passersby," he says.


Exterior view of entrance way to food bar architecture, interior design, real estate, blue, teal
Exterior view of entrance way to food bar with white table extending out through glass doors from inside, bar chairs, and orange and white colour scheme.

The aim was to devise something that stood out from the surrounding cafes and restaurants, most of which have bifold doors and steel-and-concrete fitouts.

Boxo's solid glass fae§ade, framed with a deep reveal and punctuated by a long, cantilevered table, is a complete departure from its neighbours.

The white banquet table was made on site from rolled hollow steel. Supported by a single H-shaped upright, it was conceived to challenge perceptions of how a table should look, says Melville.

Counter area of food bar with timber cabinets, ceiling, interior design, kitchen, brown, orange
Counter area of food bar with timber cabinets, glass display cabinets, timber flooring, timber tables, food preparation areas, and bright orange shelves.

"The glazing and the positioning of the table allowed us to visually merge the inner space with the courtyard," he says.

Another key element that defines the Boxo look is the panelled white wall behind the counter. Inset with rectangular orange boxes and raised geometric panels, it adds a subtle '50s flavour.

In keeping with the simple, striking design and orange-and-white colour palette, the material selection is also limited. Bamboo flooring and joinery is offset by crisp white surfaces and glass elements.

Jun 08, 2006

Credit list

Architect
John Mills Architects, Michael Melville (project architect)
Window and door joinery
Toughened frameless glass from Metro Glass
Paint
Furniture
Custom designed and made by Blair Spicer
Main contractor
Sydney Holdings
Flooring
Bamboo tongue and groove from Paul Dephter
Lighting
Brushed steel light fittings from Riel
Stainless steel kitchen benches
R J Mullin
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