There’s always something a bit magical about discovering hidden fragments of history, and sometimes, little pieces of knowledge can become the inspiration for a whole new concept. Such was the case for hospitality design studio CoLab when commissioned with the design of the new Florence Café in Melbourne’s bustling laneway district.
Located in Little Bourke Street, the Farrant’s Building was built in 1926 and operated as a saddler in the city’s then-booming horse bazaar district. Various other businesses occupied the site from the 1950s and when it came time for Florence Café to take up residence, demolition of the interior revealed a beautiful, aged terracotta tiled floor. This rich hue became the colour muse from which CoLab grew the project design.
Anna Drummond, a director and partner at CoLab was one of the first designers to specify the robust colours of Fibonacci Stone’s Fatima’s Reflection. “It was the perfect complement to the existing terracotta floor which was discovered beneath several layers of screed during demolition. This beautiful terrazzo counteracts the heavy saturation of the red floor, creating a contemporary datum line around the lower level of the space,” says Anna.
Fatima’s Reflection forms the counter sides, benchtops, and the base of banquette seating. Upon this rich palette of terracotta and terrazzo, CoLab designed seating in rolled pink leather, as an intended ‘pop’ against the saturation of teal green walls. It’s a stunning colour combination, creating a destination that evokes a fresh take on Melbourne’s famous coffee culture.
Fibonacci Stone’s creative director, Michael Karakolis agrees that Fatima’s Reflection was an inspired choice for the project. “It’s very fitting that CoLab selected it for a hospitality fit-out, as Fatima’s Reflection was originally inspired by the colours and aromas of our colleague Fatima’s homeland, Morocco,” says Michael. “Also, our products are extremely hardwearing – so it’s perfect for high-traffic areas like a bustling café.”
We’ve conjured a tagine-ful of cayenne, cumin, saffron with just a smattering of aniseed, to create this tribute to a colleague’s heartland. Available in 400x400x17mm, 600x600x20mm and Small Format Slabs 1530x680x30mm.
As with all Fibonacci Stone designs, Fatima’s Reflection is a stocked item with no lead-time, no delays, and no reselections.
Photography by Hannah Caldwell, courtesy of CoLab Design Studo