Ewert Leaf creates European-Modernist interior for Sebastian beach bar & grill near Melbourne
Sebastian beach bar & grill is a relaxed restaurant with a real hangout feel situated in the heritage-listed former Dressing Pavilion on Williamstown foreshore near Melbourne. The region inspired menu created by head chef Leigh Robbins is prepared on a charcoal grill. The project was completed by Melbourne-based studio Ewert Leaf.
“The unique opportunity to reinvent and restore a rare example of Modernist architecture, and the unique beachside location has inspired an interior space with a strong connection to history and a sense of place. The design needed to achieve both the restorative requirements from council and Heritage Victoria, and also encompass the client’s re imagining of the venue. Each detail is crafted to celebrate and reference the original architecture, featuring strong, clean lines and filleted curves, captured in robust materials. The design response has a significant contribution to the local culture, providing users with a contemporary interpretation to this period of design. A strong connection to the surrounding, somewhat exposed environment has been achieved throughout the design. Natural light is harnessed by exposing existing clerestory windows, amplified through the use clean, bright finishes. Sash windows and large doors to the Esplanade and beachside allow for cross ventilation, creating an inviting space that transforms with the seasons. A sweeping bar forged in oceanic-toned concrete is hero upon entry, creating flow to the dining room and beachside deck. Overhead shelving follows the bar, with tubular rails subliminally referencing façade metalwork. Spanish patterned indigo-toned carpet anchors the restaurant space, while a field of glass pendants soften modernist lines. Scalloped leather booths frame views to the Esplanade, with timber dowels lining the low-slung wings, providing intimacy and warmth. A neutral Bistro palette ensures flexibility for functions. Sheer white linen slung from the ceiling creates a soft undulating canopy. A dedicated bar formed in porcelain-tone breeze blocks, crowned with a cerulean concrete counter draws connection to waters beyond. The double-tiered deck offers views across the bay and direct beach access. White and blue rattan chairs and swing seating suspended from the timber pergola convey a Spanish beach club aesthetic. The lower deck day beds are screened by a sweeping breezeblock wall and verdant planting, defining a sense of arrival from the beach,” says Ewert Leaf