Vue de Monde, Melbourne / Elenberg Fraser

Lighting installation re/ flexion by Emma Lashma

Lighting installation re/ flexion by Emma Lashma

neon art piece by artist Joseph Kosuth

neon art piece by artist Joseph Kosuth

Cloud installation above bar by artist Mikala Dwyer

Cloud installation above bar by artist Mikala Dwyer

VDM Tiller chairs design by Ross Didier

VDM Tiller chairs design by Ross Didier

It just seemed a bit of a waste that most of the skins were destined for shoes, footballs and European fashion houses without carrying their story
— Ross Didier

Having viewed the images of the restaurant designed by Elenberg Fraser before reading about their inspiration, you could be forgiven for not seeing the typical - pardon he term - 'Australiana' inspiration, it's a more sophisticated space than the inspirational references suggest. A twist on the light play on water with the use of corrugated glass, drawing on the dark Melbournesque design asthetic with splashes of graphic light,

Frilled Neck Lizard lights in the function room & the kangaroo fur & hide chairs designed by Ross Dider.

And in case you were wondering – yes Kangaroo is on the menu too.

In the words of the designer:

The overall concept of chef Shannon Bennett’s flagship restaurant Vue de monde, on the 55th floor of the Rialto, is the abstract Australian landscape, in particular, the landscape of Melbourne and its waterways. The Yarra River, the reeds, the billabong, Australian animals and insects – the platypus, fireflies, frilled neck lizards and kangaroos – were all referenced for inspiration. The design celebrates Australiana in its true essence – its sense of wonder and its contradictions, possessing both wildness and sophistication. 

We collaborated with the following people to make this project successful;

Ross Didier is a Melbourne based designer, he runs Ross Didier Design which designs one-off pieces for architecture-specific spaces and ranges for manufacturing production for a wide array of clients.

Commissioned by chef Shannon Bennett to provide a distinctive Australian flavour to the restaurant, Vue De Monde, furniture designer Ross Didier did just that with his creation of the unique VDM Collection.

Each piece of furniture spread though out the 3 rooms of Vue De Monde Restaurant features kangaroo fur and hide – the end product of a government controlled cull, to prevent overgrazing and damage to surrounding eco systems.  The design of the furniture range draws on its original form – Chair and table legs reflect an animalistic stance, and vertical buttons are suggestive of spinal detailing (see below).   Didier hopes the distinctive “life markings” on each unique piece of furniture will encourage people to think about the complete life cycle of the kangaroo.

All materials used in the VDM collection are environmentally considered. Chair frames are made from Oak sourced from sustainably managed plantations. Telephone and computer waste has been used in the plastic seating shell, and the foam padding is certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).

Joseph Kosuth at Anna Schwartz Gallery 'The Paradox of Content'

Joseph Kosuth at Anna Schwartz Gallery 'The Paradox of Content'

A stunning neon art piece by seminal  American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth interpreting one of Charles Darwin’s sketches forms the back drop for the restaurant together with sweeping views across the city and beyond.


Metal finishes from Rimex Metals. Glazing by Viridian Glass. Timbers are local or sustainable. Marble and bluestone from Apex Stone. Tiles from Russel Cook metz, Classic Ceramics and Artedomus.


Acoustic wall panel from Woven Image.


Carpets from Whitecliffe Imports.


Dining room pendant lights by Emma Lashmar and Dean Phillips. Function room Frilled Neck Lizard Lights by Design Sense. Valenti Terra Sphere floor lamp. Architectural lighting from Concord Sylvania, Dean Phillips, ECC Lighting, JSB Lighting, Licht Design, Lighting Group, Lightmoves, Major Graphic Signs, Xenian, Zumtobel.


Tables and chairs by Ross Didier. Kangaroo skins over dining room tables by Captain of Industry – James Roberts and Theo Hassett. Lounge Furniture by Anthony Camm, from Camm Upholstery. Other fabrics from Laine Furnishings, Unique Fabrics and Textile Mania. Champagne and cheese trolleys by Arteveneta.


Ross White from Simsite.


Amenity hand wash basins, make up station, mirrors and the pissor by Joseph Licciardi. Basins by Caroma. Tapware from Streamline Products and Rogerseller.


Chef’s tables gold rush pebbles by Mark Douglass. Cutlery by Christofle.


The Cloud installation above bar is by artist Mikala Dwyer. Neon text artwork to dining room and wine cellar by artist Joseph Kosuth. Commissions by Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Vue de Monde

Images courtesty of Elenberg Fraser

Photography of Vue de Monde by Dianna Snape

Chair images Ross Dider

Lighting Pendants Emma Lashmar

Via State of Green