Stokehouse City was a result of fast thinking Frank Van Haandel who’s iconic institution The Stokehouse, St Kilda Beach, was tragically reduced to dust by a fire. Being such an important venue of Melbourne, Frank realized he needed to continue its life, and asked PGMD to transform his City based Comme in to a beach side city restaurant; bringing the beach in to the heart of Melbourne. And create Stoke House City.
Comme was a CBD venture he founded circa 2004, which I also happened to undertake the lighting design of, this time collaborating with, the then, Hecker Phelan Guthrie. The luxury bar, restaurant and function space, were adorned with majestic bespoke hand blown crystal chandeliers produced by renown company Barovier & Toso of Morano Italy, and many other wonderful luminaires.
PGMD’s concept focused on the beach, sea, fishing ropes, and other sea-worthy elements which transpired. Thick ropes were hand knotted forming larger than life fishing nets, and were cast (gently) over the glorious sparkling glass creations of Barovier & Toso. These hang in the majestic old ball room, now the fine dining restaurant.
The ground floor bistro and bar were designed to offer relaxed easy going dining experience. The lighting design was created to add to the ambience. Rectangular linen pendant lights float, glowing above the seating, and illuminate the room in a gentle wash of light, providing light to the diners.
Under the grand sweeping stair case resides a hidden dark room. PGMD installed a bar and plenty of loungey banquettes and poofs. The blackened ceiling is dotted with small pendants, seemingly twinkling like little stars, as one would observe on a ship’s deck under a moon lit sky.
(The new Stoke House St Kilda, is being resurrected and soon to be finished. And again PGMD is undertaking the design of the restaurant, and SGM-LCD is involved with the lighting design. Stay tuned)