Australia-based lighting specialist, PointOfView (POV), has completed work on Man Tong Kitchen – an eatery at Melbourne’s Crown Casino Complex on the south bank of the Yarra river. The venue is a sister to Melbourne’s renowned Hu Tong eatery.
The Man Tong interior was designed by BY Architects, and follows a contemporary ideal of traditional Chinese style, with a rich combination of materials and vibrant colour.
Sara McClintock, senior lighting designer at POV, explains: “Traditional dark stone, decorative oriental patterns, timber, red and gold touches mixed up with concrete finishes and modern glass tiles – these are the materials that BY Architects gave us to play with. The intention of the lighting is to accentuate this richness, and bring to life all the key finishes, artwork, furniture and decorative elements in the space.”
The base lighting finishes in the main dining areas are dark – the lighting plays with the dimmed aesthetic and increases contrasts, emphasising reds, gold and timber to let these tones become the life of the space.
In contrast to the restaurant, the private areas have bright finishes and deliver an open aesthetic with indirect lighting and modern glass chandeliers. Mark Elliott and his team were sensitive to cultural differences – Chinese restaurants are traditionally much brighter spaces than restaurants in the West. In the private dining room they needed to meet the high light-level requirements of a traditional Chinese banquet, while satisfying Western tastes for ambiant light with high accents, drama and intimacy.
All areas are hung with a decorative pendant or a chandelier. The fittings were chosen to reflect an antique traditional aesthetic with a strong contemporary nature, so as not to overpower the space. Feature lighting in the private dining rooms was carefully selected to communicate a subtle oriental feel in a contemporary idiom.
The central restaurant pendant is a bespoke piece specially designed by the POV team, in a variation of a traditional Chinese lantern. “We integrated the main tones of red and gold to relate to the interior as a whole,” says Sara.
Lisa Chan, associate director of BY Architects, comments: “POV were asked to design feature and architectural lighting to help achieve a sense of warmth and airiness to a variety of spaces. Up-lighting of the feature pitched ceiling in the main dining room was also important to show the volume of the space, with the insertion of custom-made oversized lantern pendants helping to accentuate this.”
Mark Elliott, design director of POV, adds: “We also created the lighting for Neil Perry’s latest restaurant, Rosetta, which recently opened within the Crown complex. It’s interesting to see how different the lighting and ambiance is, from one project to the other. I’m proud of how precisely my team at POV focus on the individual character of each design project.”
Images © Albert Comper