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Culture, tradition and history collide at Duck & Rice

Hogg & Lamb provides a contemporary Cantonese experience that celebrates the true meaning of extravagant hospitality and luxury opulence at Sydney’s new rooftop palace.

A nod to the Art Deco exuberance of the West and married with the history of the East – Duck & Rice is a rooftop restaurant that reimagines the way we experience Chinese cuisine and culture. Hidden in the top level of the iconic Westfield Pitt Street Complex in Sydney’s bustling business district, Duck & Rice is a celebration of Chinese dynasties and revolutionary ideas.

Luxurious in its charm, this restaurant provides a contemporary Cantonese experience as a reimagined fusion concept of Traditional Chinese and Style Moderne. Queensland design studio, Hogg & Lamb architects completely transform the 800-square-metre space into a revitalised urban sanctuary of opulence and grandeur. Revolutionary ideas of Eastern bold flavours and Western art and design from the 1920s and 1930s define the philosophy for this boundary-pushing restaurant.

Designed to lead you into a thriving dining experience, Hogg & Lamb explores a fusion of Art Deco and Chinese design motifs that elevate the holistic dining experience and spatial journey from the interior through to the exterior. Stepping into the doors of Duck & Rice is an exhilarating experience, where ornamental metal moon gates greet the individual at the threshold. A timber parquetry floor adorns the entrance and throughout, creating a sophisticated softness and warmth to the space and juxtaposed by the deep-toned embellishments in the intimate venue.

Deeper into the space, a central bar takes pride of place in the room as a divider and a lighting installation; transforming into a luminary centrepiece as the venue transitions from day to evening. The chandelier, comprising 450 linear metres of custom-made glass tubes and brass framing graces the space. The effect is an ethereal atmosphere like no other. Reflective of the prolific elements of the past, layers of concentric details bring a sense of drama into the centre of Duck & Rice, with a lighting spectacle descriptive of the restaurant’s character and charm.

By blurring the boundaries and breaking the rectilinear forms throughout the venue, the experience at Duck & Rice is composed of an inclusive setting for drinking and dining all in one. Illuminated by the geometric form of the exterior Lantern Room, the rooftop space of Duck & Rice encapsulates an elegant and electrifying dining experience. The lavish canopy of 243 custom-made Chinese lanterns, a visual beacon that signifies festivity and celebration, encapsulates the sumptuous event of dining and drinking under the stars and echoes the prolific age of times past.

Refined and inspiring, the materiality for Duck & Rice is modern extravagance. Bold geometric patterns and defined angles combine with symmetry in design. All while being an idyllic nod to the wave of design from Shanghai and Hong Kong in the 30s. Heightening the magic of the past, the design aesthetic is elevated through custom-designed decorative elements, bespoke fixtures and fittings of fine marble, robust brass, metal screens and moon gates with elaborate timberwork to weave a rich tapestry of historical, cultural and decorative references. A sense of authenticity permeates through Duck & Rice through the craftsmanship and throughout the fabric of East and West traditions within the venue. Circle motifs pay homage to the Chinese symbol meaning “fulfilled,” prolific in fluted, curved and circular elements at various scales. Curved dining booths and tubular, opulent embellishments reinforce the curved forms through the restaurant’s sculptural forms.

Sculpted to mimic the lavish lifestyles of decades past, the restaurant’s aesthetic is decorated with highlights of gold and natural whites, complemented by striking velvety rich blues and deeper tones of timber and bronze. Moments of intricate brass trimmings, grand white marble combined with the subtle luxuries of hand-painted wallpaper and luminous lanterns set the stage for an enticing experience and create a holistic narrative for Duck & Rice.

Evocative of the opulent era of Art Deco and a genuine celebration of Chinese dynasties, Duck & Rice offers an extraordinary hospitality experience unique to Sydney. Hogg & Lamb architects has designed an urban palace that pushes boundaries and pays respects to tradition and history, while adding a contemporary twist to revitalise the wonders of exciting and awe-inspiring cultures.

Photograph courtesy of Christopher Frederick Jones.

We think you’ll enjoy John Anthony in Hong Kong by Linehouse, which also fuses East and West design aesthetics. And to get regular design inspiration, join our weekly newsletter.

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