Where The Wild
Paul Barbera & Jason Loucas
All eyes were on Rene Redzepi and his team as the world’s best restaurant relocated to Sydney’s new Barangaroo precinct. Redzepi’s brief for the temporary project expressed the desire for something ‘uniquely Australian’, an interior that reflected Noma’s intent to source ingredients from coastal and surrounding regions.
Foolscap Studio worked with the Lendlease design team and Noma in Copenhagen to better understand the experience design, service culture, workflow and exacting functional requirements of the front of house, kitchens, R&D labs, and back of house operations. Foolscap delivered the scheme through to construction and also developed additional items to produce a holistic experience across all touchpoints, including signage, print materials, table items and uniforms.
Reflecting Noma’s research-led approach to food innovation and sourcing of progressive ingredients, the design team created a narrative that interwove this approach with a distinct Australian identity. The design concept encapsulated both the ancient and contemporary Australian condition and the elemental quality of the vast Australian landscape – rugged oxidised earth, sweeping coastlines, open sky, horizon and the regeneration of native bushland through fire.
“It’s very different from our space in Copenhagen, yet it has our DNA in it. In collaboration with our partners we’ve succeeded in getting a distinct Australian-ness embedded into the walls.”
– Rene Redzepi
The result is a refined and fundamentally materials-driven experience that reflects the earth and water from which ingredients on the Noma menu are sourced, as well as Noma’s use of open fire. The concept of ‘land’ is represented by solid mass, weight, charred textures and earth. ‘Water’ is represented through light, shadow, glass and spatial volume.
Through research, honesty to materials and process, and working closely with local suppliers and makers, the design team conceived and realised a complete experience that embodied the Noma ethos and approach. The experience underlines and celebrates the Noma story through sourcing the most relevant local materials and exploring their limits.