5D/ 101 COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE, VIC 3000
We are Humble PTY. LTD.
Enter through the deli, turn past the waiters station and settle into the curves of the lounge at Flinders Lane Merchants — the newest location from Joseph Haddad of Code Black Coffee, and your new lunchtime fave.
Sitting in the back of Denton Corker Marshall’s iconic 101 Collins Street tower, the front door opens out to sceney Flinders Lane. With this dual identity in mind we asked ourselves: how can we embrace this double nature?
Just as Phillip Johnson’s columns line the entrance and lobby, supporting nothing except their own, commanding physical presence in space, we wondered how we might also be able to change the perception of the facade, so that what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what you get inside. How could we play with staging and drama (with a hint of humour) in a way that evoked, but didn’t pander to the spirit of the original architecture?
Hidden behind nostalgic lace curtains, Flinders Lane Merchants’ split personality is expressed through its colour, material, tone and functionality, and is literally two spaces in one:
The stripped back, utilitarian deli offers your morning coffee & take-away sandwich, consciously evoking a retro diner feel. It’s the kind of place you’d imagine the merchant traders peeling off of Flinders Lane to stop and lunch at in the middle of their busy days — super familiar, super regular, super on-point.
The luxurious lounge, meanwhile, is tucked away in the corner and the perfect spot for a long lunch. Things here are more tactile and set-in, whether that’s the carved wood panels suggesting the carved stone of those famous 101 columns, or even just because you can grab a glass of wine, stay a while and chat. Without being too ‘men’s club’-y, we sought to create a lounge that is accessible to everyone by reflecting an atmosphere, rather than dwelling in dated nostalgia.
The spaces oppose but still vibe off each other to create the perfect hybrid, a place that mixes bold linework, contrasting textures, and earthen tones in its palette in ways that would hearten even John Brack's office worker.
Photography by Jansen Aui