Chris Connell Design

Located at ACMI in Federation Square, HERO ACMI is a series of unique dining zones under a uniform ceiling that draws its aesthetic inspiration from the film Playtime, French filmmaker Jacques Tati’s 1967 ode to modernism.

The restaurant colour palette of greys, whites and blues, includes the occasional pop of colour to draw the visitor’s attention. Broad-stroke portraits by Australian artist, Christina Zimpel, line the walls and feature heroes across music, film, and art. Combined with pale oak timber joinery and perforated wall panelling, the interior creates a calming backdrop for activity and allows for the ‘Hero’, the diners and the act of eating and drinking, to come to the forefront.

HERO ACMI is a refined all-day casual restaurant with seating for 150 people inside and 100 outside. The space is flexible and can be utilised for a morning coffee, pre-film snack or intimate dining.

Unique dining zones have been created using large joinery elements strategically positioned throughout the space. The kiosk cube is a contemporary take on the cinema kiosk, finished in brushed stainless steel and can be fully closed to allow the restaurant to become a more formal setting for dining.

The marble chef’s table with custom-made linear pendant and bright orange colour, contrasts with the neutral palette and is accompanied by a four-metre-long chef’s station constructed to appear as a singular block of stainless steel.

The dry bar table is more informal. Its I-beam profile acts as an anchor to the space and leather and steel banquettes with full-height screens have been positioned on the central axis of the area. This helps break up the visual lines through the space and creates privacy between the bar and formal dining area.


Furniture: Thonet GmbH, Anibou Furniture, Maas & Co. Lighting: Unios. Finishes: CSR, Bishop Master Finishes. Fittings & Fixtures: Astra Walker.


Photography: Earl Carter