Inspired by immersive encounters with aquariums, TANK brings fish and chips to life – but in a completely different way! The eatery is located in an 1890s corner shop on Lygon Street in Carlton and while the site is quite historical, the concept behind this inner-city eatery draws on a different kind of heritage to connect with its patrons.
“The client was keen to stir the pot within the iconic Italian locale by throwing some Greek into the mix,” says Interior Architect Anna Drummond of Anna Drummond design. “As a local of the Carlton area, the owner recognised that the area lacked an important staple – the faithful Greek fish ‘n’ chip shop.”
Anna goes on to explain that, having secured the iconic but derelict corner site, the client embraced the character of the location, “steeped in a century of European migrant dreams”.
The brief focussed on developing a sub-text to that history, with a suggestive play on Italian/Greek rivalry. “The business concept, brand and resultant interior were all developed via the single project brief, and inspired by the building itself which features Grecian god-heads and ionic columns,” explains Anna.
The interiors carry simple finishes set in high contrast to one another. Here, white-hot neon segues into deep indigo Victorian tiles. Silver ‘wet suit’ banquet seating is contrasted against fish-scaled marble mosaics, and the centrepiece of the space: a 6-metre long communal table, is tiled in a richly detailed patchwork of handmade Iznik tiles. These were specially commissioned from a traditional Turkish ceramic factory, “and flown in from Istanbul”.
“The corner-orientation of the shop also offers passers-by a ‘fish-bowl’ view into space – a rarity in a strip typified by rows of closed awnings,” says Anna.
Tying this all together is the text-based logo, inspired by childhood memories of weekend fish and chips wrapped in steamy sheafs of paper. “The news print font was developed to evoke these simple, joyful memories, in stark contrast to the heavy tradition of the surrounding ristorantes.”
ANNA DRUMMOND DESIGN
Photography: Shannon McGrath