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Feature article


WORDS BY Joshua McAlister

CHAULK is a multi-disciplinary architecture and design firm, founded by architects Kimberly Pannan and Joyce Lam. Both architects were drawn together after a decade of local and international experience in residential, education, cultural and community architecture. With a handful of projects completed, Chaulk truly is one of Victoria’s newest emerging studios, quickly building a reputation for fine detailing and sensitive design outcomes.

Chaulk’s initial projects commenced in the residential sector with projects such as the Northcote and Portland Houses using skills in quality detailing and bespoke interior joinery with a particular focus on sustainability. More recently Chaulk’s project list has developed to include commercial interiors, civic buildings, sport and recreation facilities and aged care developments.

Stalactites Restaurant _ Photographer Ben Hosking

One of Chaulk’s most notable built works is a Melbourne icon – Stalactites Restaurant. Famous for its home-style Greek food, Stalactites Restaurant has been located on the corner of Russell and Lonsdale Streets for nearly 30 years. Chaulk’s brief was to renovate the restaurant within the walls of the existing heritage listed building in response to the client’s need for increased efficiency and functionality of the kitchen and dining room areas.

Chaulk’s resultant design solution aimed to celebrate the legacy of this family-owned business. To keep a suggestion of the old, many of the original materials have been re-used in new ways as the slate walls have become floors, and timber floors have become walls. From a Melburnians’ point of view, the retention of the sprayed concrete ‘stalactite’ ceiling within a new slick eatery shell is a triumph. There is a glory in the kitsch nature of the ceiling that hasn’t been lost, but rather enhanced by the new life of the interior.