The George on Collins
Historical significance became a talking point during the renewal of Melbourne establishment The Longroom. The patrons of today still crave all the style and service that the Georges building has inherently possessed in the past. The new iteration of the Longroom space – The George on Collins – delivers this and more; the focus here is on the hospitality being offered.
First and foremost, the space is about quality. From the 1880s until 1995, department store Georges on Collins represented an elite shopping experience at the ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street, seducing the style-conscious consumers that flocked to its doors. Through the passing years, not much has changed in this respect. The iconic Melbourne building still represents an honest and refined sensibility, from the architecture of the building to its current high-end retail and hospitality occupants.
At The George on Collins by Hecker Guthrie, variegated and irregular brick patterns explore the idea of the handmade in an artisanal, rather than crafty way. A playful expansion of this idea occurs in the bespoke ceramic artworks that mimic the vaulted spaces of the room in both plan and elevation, rescaled and reimagined, and spotlighted in the pocket booths. Here, a private nook creates the perfect space to dine while people watching at the bar is pulled into focus. Consumers perceive The George on Collins as a premium venue, which is evident from the clientele who visit regularly. The subterranean venue captures each moment in the day from breakfast through to late-night drinking.
Like the food the venue produces, Hecker Guthrie wanted the space to encompass these passions and the level of craft that is required to produce the dishes. The George on Collins incorporates a sense of artisan quality in the detailing of each element – a handmade quality. These are the elements in each project that the designers gain the most satisfaction from.
Photography: Earl Carter