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A distinctly ‘Australian take’ on Ace Hotel – Kiln by Fiona Lynch Office

A distinctly ‘Australian take’ on Ace Hotel – Kiln by Fiona Lynch Office


Representing Australian craftsmanship and bold colours, Kiln by Fiona Lynch Office (FLO) is also an exercise in sustainable multidisciplinary collaboration.

Located in the new Ace Hotel Sydney’s rooftop restaurant and bar, Kiln is a unique space that evokes the Australian landscape through its aesthetics of filtered, vibrant hues.

Speaking on her design approach, Lynch says she wanted a distinctly “Australian take” on what Ace Hotel could be.

“A space that could reflect Australia’s culture, colours and design language,” she says.

“Their desire was for Kiln to feel like a distinctly different space within the hotel.”

“The history and background of this site are absolutely incredible; from housing Australia’s first-ever kilns to being a garment factory, it’s a space that’s imbued with a creative spirit. Our vision was to honour these contexts through a contemporary interpretation and to subtly engage those who eat and drink at Kiln with the rich culture outside these walls.”

Ace Hotel Sydney marks the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and was selected as the Overall Project of the Year for IDEA 2022. Designed by Flack Studio, Ace Hotel Sydney is the ‘home for everyone’ and was built on the site of a former brick factory – providing the restaurant’s namesake.

Taking centre stage on the Top Floor of the building’s 18 levels, Kiln features two dining areas and bars, alongside terrace dining areas with a retractable roof and patina.

From the 18th floor, diners can see Sydney from different and unexpected angles, such as Central Station’s familiar sandstone façade and the neighbouring train tracks, or a snippet of a single sail of the Sydney Opera House through the city’s high-rise buildings.

“The building’s windows were generous, so we designed banquette seating around the perimeters to create a relaxed and layered space,” explains Lynch.

Kiln also showcases a delectable party of locally sourced materials, including Australian stone in the bar and floors from regional quarries, a mix of Australian timbers such as Tasmanian Huon Pine and recycled Birdseye Stringybark, Blackbutt timbers, and reclaimed Oregon for the custom furniture.

In a special first, Australian lighting designer Volker Haug Studios created an alchemically nuanced, custom ombré finish brass sprayed onto aluminium to wrap a central utility room – further evoking the Australian landscape.

In another first, Lynch also salvaged materials from the original building site to be crushed and create pigment to be handpainted onto Belgian Linen. The local artisanal approach was continued with Lynch’s collaboration with Spacecraft Studio to create a custom-printed textile that covers several walls and surrounds window frames.

Kiln personifies Lynch’s mastery of layered materiality and impactful colour choices, like the striking blue resin wall that greets guests at the entrance.

“We sought inspiration globally so that the design would have the sobriety of American furniture’s DNA while being dedicated to infusing the spaces with local character.

“The palette came together quite organically to reflect the Australian landscape in a beautiful way, tethering these interiors to the historic, urban Sydney neighbourhood that Kiln overlooks.”

Fiona Lynch standing next to a custom DJ booth she designed for Kiln at Ace Hotel Sydney. Photo: Fiona Lynch Office.

Photography by Pablo Veiga.

Fiona Lynch Office was founded in 2013 by Fiona Lynch. Displaying a painterly command of colour and texture, Lynch’s work captures an atmospheric potency in each architectural and interior design project.

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