As a multiple award-winning culinary institution of Melbourne, owner Shannon Bennett has created a unique atmosphere up on top of the 55th floor of the Rialto Towers that embraces the concepts of sustainable design, functionality and operation put forth by Alaistair Faud-Luke in his 14 part manifesto (2002). Bennett has enlisted the help of local design firm Elenburg Fraser to “design with integrity, sensitivity and compassion” (Faud-Luke, 2012, p. 15) in relation to the Australian-sourced materials that resonate throughout the venue.
It is the belief of Faud-Luke that 14 principles help to distinguish the “thoughtful designer” and Vue Du Monde (VDM) embodies a number of these. The seventh proposition on Faud-Luke’s list states that one must “design to use locally available materials and resources wherever possible”, and from the “locally sourced black basalt” bar surface to the “Australian timber, fur, veneers and furniture” that are all tailored by Australian designers (ArchitectureAU, 2012). A key function of the brief for Elenburg Fraser was to use native materials and processes as much as possible. something they have achieved so as to represent Bennett’s heritage and the ingredients used while maintaining a beautiful simplicity for the design of the venue.
Bennett’s dedication to sustainable design practice goes further then the aesthetics of the venue as well, he toys with the third item on Faud-Luke’s manifesto, which suggests that ‘eco-pluralistic’ design must also “harness solar income rather then use non-renewable [energy] such as fossil fuels”. This belief spreads to the kitchen in Vue Du Monde which utilises “cold kitchen technology” and “recyclable products” (Vue Du Monde, n.d). Bennett is well-renowned within Australia for his progressive thinking and VDM is crowned his “most sustainable” project yet (Vue Du Monde, n.d).
With this in mind I believe that the aggressive tactice used by Vue Du Monde in it’s quest for sustainability the reflects the Australian landscape can only help to add it it’s opulence and sense of purpose. Many corporations could begin to invest in renewable energies and responsibly sources materials in a bid to raise their profile rather then believe it is now a necessary inconvenience that should be reluctantly followed.
Australian Interior Design Awards, (2012). 2012 Hospitality Design Award.
Elenberg Fraser, (2012). Vue Du Monde [Official Guide]
Fuad-Luke, A. (2002). Design for a sustainable future. London: Chronicle & Thames and Hudson.
Vue Du Monde, (n.d). Shannon Bennett Biography.
Retrieved from http://www.vuedemonde.com.au/shannon_bennett_biography
ArchitectureAU, (2012). Vue Du Monde.
Architecture and Design, (2012). Vue Du Monde.