The Press Club / March Studio

When you walk into The Press Club restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, you can’t help but look up. Designed by Melbourne-based March Studio, this vast space shows off its dimensions with a mirrored wall on one side that reflects large windows on the other. In all this amping up of spatial proportions, however, the ceiling is the undeniable center of attention.

Reminiscent of some kind of marine plant life with its cylindrical protrusions and textured insets, to call it a ceiling suddenly seems to sell it short. Though it looks more likely to be called art, nearly every design aspect serves a purpose.

 
 

Encircled by each hand-folded brass hood are lit tubes that are perfectly positioned throughout the space so as to light the tables and seating areas. Set into the hoods, sheets of perforated steel not only provide some variety to the quality of light cast onto the tables below, but also help diffuse sound.

Because the ceiling alone makes such a statement, the rest of the room is left intentionally simple or, as March Studio puts it, “bare and honest”. Keeping to earthy tones, the semi-circular booths are made of a soft brown leather and light timber.

The simplicity of this enormous space definitely wins best supporting roll for this bold, show-stealing work of ceiling art.