Itō Dessert Bar is a conceptual pop-up pavilion designed to be a part of Sydney Festival, an annual cultural festival celebrating local and international artists.
The concept is inspired by the Sydney Festival's aims to connect people with art, the deep connection that Carriageworks has to Sydney's history, and Kengo Kuma's philosophies of connecting spaces. Ultimately, 'connectivity' became the driving ideology behind this concept.
This pop-up is a small gallery space, as well as a cafe that features a limited edition dessert menu, created in collaboration with one of Sydney's most popular dessert destinations, KOI Dessert Bar. With beautifully designed cakes and unique flavour profiles, these creations look like works of art – which is why they're presented as works of art in this space. The desserts are displayed in small niches built into the walls, as well as a plinth in the gallery space.
Curved, organic shapes are created to indicate a natural flow in the open space on the ground level. The intention behind this is to allow for visitors to design their interactions with the space and to connect with it however they liked, blurring the lines between the inside and the outside. The ground level also has two feature walls cladded in shingles, which is one of key features of this pop-up space. The idea is that behind these shingles there are motion detector sensors at play that trigger the shingles to move in response. When people pass by, a slow rippling, undulating effect is created in different, random directions. An art piece in itself, it also (physically) illustrates the impact of a person's connection to a space.
The upper level holds the kitchen space, as well as more informal seating areas. Limited table seating is available, but visitors are encouraged to sit in the space however and wherever they want. Continuing on with the intention of using the space as a gallery, the idea was to bring the performative element upstairs. By wrapping the kitchen in a large glass pane, the visitors can see the staff assembling the beautiful dessert creations. In that sense, the visitors become the audience, the staff become the performers, and the glass pane acts as the big screen framing their performance. This pavilion concept was also designed with the circular economy in mind, by only using materials that are recyclable and/or sustainable. As this pavilion is an impermanent installation, it was imperative to consider the reusability of the materials after the event.
A chroma-reduced contrasting blue/red colour palette was chosen, to create an inviting and uplifting space. Tints and shades of these hues were also used in the space. Resene Ebb, a pale foam pink, was used on all interior and exterior walls, with Resene Lumbersider low sheen on the exterior and Resene Zylone Sheen on the interior. Resene Cognac, a beautifully rich red, was used on the pillar, the stairs leading up to the level, and the roofs, with Resene Eunry for visibility strips on the stairs. Resene Zylone Sheen in Resene Alabaster, a warm white, was selected for the moving wall shingles. The intention was for the wall was to be quite neutral and unassuming, until visitors approached it and realised they could interact with it. Resene Breaker Bay was used in the centre of the dessert exhibition, offering a fresh pop of blue-green to complement the other colours.
Colour selection: Michelle Yuen
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