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City Hill Coffee
Canberra, Australia

City Hill Coffee

Airport Retail Enterprises

City Hill Coffee  |  2019  | Hospitality  |  Design

project brief

City Hill Coffee is one of two new dining venues Greater Group designed in Canberra Airport. The design brief was to create a gourmet cafe that reflects local design and talent with a full working kitchen accompanied by a separate coffee counter. The design of the space had to be light and fresh to create a space where passengers are inspired to spend time before their flight, while aligning the cafe’s interior with the light visual guidelines of the airport and surrounding tenancies. Sustainability was a defining goal in this project. The designers sourced and/or manufacturer the majority of materials locally and ensured ethical and future-proof operations throughout the design. 

project outcome

Local inspiration is prevalent in the design of City Hill Coffee. The feature light over the counter was inspired by the Canberra parliament house to evoke a sense of familiarity with customers. The structure of the light inverts that of the Parliament building, which allows the upright tubes to extend downwards to the counter, anchoring it in position. Another key design element is the white feature lattice demarcating the cafe in its canopy treatment, following through to the coffee counter front. The unique light fixture placed against the white lattice pattern in the overhead canopy achieves a striking design feature that subtly reminds of local architecture. 

Further to the strong sense of local, biophilic design plays a considerative role in the cafe’s interior. Hanging plants over the coffee counter create a welcoming facade for customers, and to serve the airport’s light colour scheme, the design team drew inspiration from Canberra’s signature farmland landscapes to create a palette consisting of moss green, warm white, tan brown and oak timber for the cafe interior. 

The kitchen was positioned around the existing services shaft and the cook line was glazed from 1100mmH to the ceiling to ensure all requirements for the kitchen are met while allowing the abundance of natural light from the airport’s full height glazing that creates an open, spacious effect inside the cafe. 

About city hill coffee

City Hill Coffee is a gourmet, ‘Instagram-ready’ cafe and eatery in Canberra Airport, Australia. The tenancy is a strong reflection of ‘local’ through the incorporation of local design and landscapes as a nod to the beautiful Canberra city. The coffee station is operated by the local supplier, ONA Coffee, who is known for their ethically sourced and fairly priced coffee, encouraging the local economy and giving passengers a final taste of local. The rest of the cafe follows suit with fresh produce that support local farmers and offer a bespoke dining experience to customers.

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