Melbourne team We Are Huntly are responsibly for some of our favourite interiors of the past year, from transforming a weatherboard home in Balaclava to conceptual cafe the Penny Drop in Box Hill. We also picked their brains in a recent Style Hunter to gleam some inspiration for the pair.

Their latest project, another hospitality venue called Moby 3143 takes their passion for closing the gap between art and architecture to the next level. As the venue proclaims, this isn’t “just another cafe’”, it’s a hub for Armadale locals and a stunning homage to the building’s original 1970s identity.

DESIGN: We Are Huntly | PHOTOGRAPHY: Sharyn Cairns

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The original structure’s bold, late 70s proportions are preserved and modernised throughout the design. The curved windows and brick facade hint at the building’s history, while the light greys, bright whites and teal colour palette give a light, modern touch. 

Inside the space the palette transforms to a pastel paradise, with a blushy Tuscan pink render backdrop and block teal contrasting without overwhelming. Mixed tiling, concrete floors and brass tapware and edging add further personality, creating an ambiance that’s sophisticated yet welcoming.

As an all-day dining destination, the layout maximises functionality and space across the building. The colour palette and materials continue throughout a mezzanine dining room and outdoor rooftop space, while natural light is maximised with the iconic curved windows downstairs and floor-to-ceiling grid windows upstairs. Constructed by Bear Projects (one of our local favourites), the new structure cleverly references the old building’s foundation, but offers plenty more room to explore and relax over a long lunch.

With a history of being a little bit posh and a rapidly-evolving local dining scene (not to mention some gorgeous family homes), Armadale is quickly becoming one of Melbourne’s most enviable postcodes. Moby 3143 both sits right at home in the locality, and brings something new and special to the neighbourhood.

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Playing on the building’s locally-iconic brick facade, the simple grey refresh contrasts nicely with the bombastic pink and marble within. We can only hope the curved window with its bi-fold doors is waiting for a takeaway coffee order! 

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The rendered walls and dusky hues were pivotal in creating the design’s Tuscan aesthetic, bringing the different spaces together and gently referencing the building’s late 70s vibe.

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