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Changing lanes

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Design detailing in a new food outlet on the site of the old Queen Victoria hospital pays homage to the city's laneways and urban markets

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Redevelopment of old, well-known landmarks within a city is inevitable and indeed is often an excellent opportunity to improve particular areas. However, a certain degree of familiarity helps people to feel safe and secure in a new environment.

Baldasso Cortese was asked to design the new KFC outlet in the urban market of the QV2 development on the site of the old Queen Victoria hospital. Architect David Chandler says a key element of difference with this project was that the design had to pay homage to the old laneways of Melbourne.

"The overall design of the QV2 placed emphasis on creating a retail street at ground level. Inside and outside, the spaces had to reflect the original laneways around the city," he says.

At KFC, these lanes show up in the pathways customers follow through the forecourt to the counter. They are reflected in the graphics – a large wall mural showing young people standing in a traditional Melbourne lane defines the seating area.

Another traditional and much loved feature of this city are the urban markets. The raw, rough and ready nature of these places is also recognised in the architecture and interior design of the food court.

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Materials typifying the old markets are used here. Polished concrete floors, aluminium and steel fittings, reconstituted granite benches, and slatted roller shutters applied directly to walls as cladding, create the feel of the markets – where at the end of the day everything could be hosed down.

Apart from a plastered ceiling over the food preparation area, services in the ceiling are exposed behind an open wire mesh. A similar mesh security wall across the entrance to the eatery at night is casually pulled against a side wall during the day.

Functional lighting in the form of commercial/industrial high bay light fittings continue the theme.

"With discreet placement of corporate branding material, the overall finish was able to be raw with a contemporary edge," says the architect.

First published date: 08 June 2006

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Credit List

Location KFC QV2, Melbourne
Architect David Chandler, RAIA, Baldasso Cortese
Main contractor Becon Constructions
Structural engineer Perrett Simpson Consulting Engineers
Mechanical and electrical engineers LA Moore and Associates
External door hardware Lockwood
Tiling Johnson Tiles
Flooring Eureka tiles
Wallcoverings Mirage natural anodised aluminium cladding
Ceiling Plasterboard; exposed wire mesh
Paint Dulux Extreme White
Lighting Inlite, Eagle Lighting
Heating/air conditioning Apac 5018 from JW Airconditioning
Furniture K-Stool upholstered seat from Ramler, designed by David Chandler
Signage Multi Dimensions
Graphic designer Winkelman Design