The Highroad Restaurant in Canberra represents the collaboration between ONA Coffee and The Cupping Room. The brief, given to Foolscap, explained the project as being founded on the principles of confidence, quality products, experimentation with flair, and approachability and humility. The result of those principles is a space that is first modern in design, yet warm and welcoming.
The restaurant ambiance is very modern. The lines are straight and the materials typical of the industrial age. Earth tones abound, but the mix of concrete and stone greys with the warmth of different woods is soothing. It’s a call to our roots—a time when we gathered as tribes in cozy caves, seated on log benches, and warmed by wood fires.
The furniture is inspired by the local surroundings, and none more so than the Cross Laminated Timber of the benches. Their shape and design were inspired by the topography of the mountains that surround Canberra. The off-form concrete bar was poured in situ, and drew its inspiration from the Dickson Library, which is just down the road from the restaurant. Throughout, there are plenty of textures and eye-catching details that will keep patrons interested.