Imperial Café by Fearon Hay, Auckland

July 3rd, 2012 by retail design blog

Fearon Hay’s commercial fit-out in Auckland celebrates the past while promising a bright future. Tucked between Auckland’s bustling Queen Street and the former red-light area of Fort Lane is a collection of shops, offices and restaurants known as The Imperial. Local firm Fearon Hay transformed two former movie theatres – which have remained largely empty following a fire in 1956 – into a richly layered public interior that celebrates both the past and future. The ground-floor laneway hosts a Danish pastry café.

‘The public needed a clear invitation,’ says architect Tim Hay of the sloping space that blurs the border between interior and exterior. Visitors will find typical Auckland paving stones underfoot and urban-scale visual cues employed throughout, including suspended neon signage in the restaurant.

Photos courtesy Patrick Reynolds

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