Cumulus Inc, Melbourne
Architect : Pascale Gomes-McNabb Design (PGMD)
Client : Pascale Gomes-McNabb
Photography : John Gollings www.gollings.com.au (Courtesy of PGMD)
2 lengths of Black track lighting hover over the bustling social dining area of Cumulus Inc. Their black graphic lines contrast against the voluminous white space of a former warehouse. The lighting design is simple, yet it’s essential to the identity of Cumulus Inc. We chose black track lighting, as opposed to white or silver, because we wanted to bring attention to the lighting and use it as a distinct gesture. Exposing all the elements of the space was paramount to the success of the design, such as PGMD brought attention to a column painting a portion in fire truck red; the Bar area and the Kitchen are also open and interact with the interior, customers, and the pedestrians walking past.
The service side of the drinks bar runs along the windows at Flinders Lane, its bottles and staff activity seen from the street. When seated at this bar, clientele can amuse themselves watching passers-by, staff busy preparing drinks, and still included in the dining activities. Continuing the language of linear lighting systems, we custom designed a robust black metal suspended light running the length of the bar. We positioned the height to bring at intimacy to the bar eating zone, yet high enough to ensure the bottle display and vistas of the street were still present when standing. Tight discs of light are used to theatrically light the surface of the black metal bar top.
The DNA pendant light hangs over the high round communal table, its exposed frosted bulbs cascading from the ceiling. Often creating striking compositions sitting against glorious displays of branches abundant flowers and leaves.
Cumulus Inc. has come to be one of the most influential eating establishments in Australia in the past 10 years. It was the first to successfully create the trend of dining at the bar as well as a designated kitchen dining bar. Its designed to share menu was the catalyst for so many restaurateurs to follow, as was the no booking policy, and its seamless operation from breakfast through till after dinner.
Often a group of diners would graze contently from morn to night enjoying the menus, and basking in the ambience. The interior allowed for flexibility and diversity, as did the lighting design which was created to seamlessly morph according to these various dining affairs.
Not only did Cumulus Inc. shape the Australian dining experience, but the interior, including the lighting concepts, can be seen mimicked across our land.
And when space became available upstairs, it was an easy decision to move on up. Here enters Cumulus Up.