fbpx DAN | Daily Architecture News Cinematic style: The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol - DAN | Daily Architecture News
Cinematic style: The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol

Cinematic style: The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol

Interior Design
WATCH: Highlights from architecture and design.

Dressed in a fit-out influenced by filmmaker Wes Anderson’s celebrated style, The Budapest Cafe in Carlton, a student-dense suburb of Melbourne, follows the popularity of its predecessor in Chengdu, China.

Brought to life by local Australian design studio Biasol, led by practice principal Jean-Pierre Biasol, the interior of the 94-square-metre cafe is imaginative and evocative, showcasing offbeat design elements punctuated by compelling blocks of colour.

Interior design at The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol

Designing The Budapest Cafe

Wes Anderson’s films have gained a cult following for their memorable and magical qualities. The auteur is renowned for symmetry, impeccable details and one-point perspectives, composing enchanting worlds through whimsical sets, mesmerising colours and nostalgic sentiment.

For the design team at Biasol, his catalogue of cinematic works was a rich source of inspiration. “Having studied Wes Anderson’s style for The Budapest Cafe in Chengdu, China, we evolved the design experience for the new Melbourne cafe, with a natural, earthy colour palette reflecting the local design sensibility,” says Jean-Pierre.

The dining room at The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol

There are parallels with the work of UK-based artist Emily Forgot, too, whose layered architectural assemblages are reminiscent of an artificial stairway that ascends the side wall of the cafe before disappearing mysteriously out of frame. On the facing wall, this imaginative trompe-l’oeil effect is echoed by another ‘staircase’ housed within an arched recess.

Curved banquette seating sweeps past the front of the cafe beneath a double-height volume, with a communal bar table positioned through the centre. A tunnelled archway at the rear of the cafe draws the gaze of guests further into the space and frames the main counter.

Through these punchy gestures patrons are invited to engage with the interior by capturing and sharing the ultra stylised scenes on social media. 

The natural earthy palette exudes warmth, texture and character, while still in keeping with the pink-iced facade of Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel.

Interior details by Biasol

The designers specified a warming palette for The Budapest Cafe that ranges in its depth of colour, aimed at highlighting the fanciful elements and creating a unique sense of two-dimensionality. “The natural earthy palette exudes warmth, texture and character, while still in keeping with the pink-iced facade of Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel,” says the designers. “Minimising the built form allowed us to maximise the impact of colour.”

Lighter hues, such as sand and beige, were used in the foreground while slightly darker tones, such as terracotta and tangerine, were reserved for the background layers. The banquettes are swathed in rust-red upholstery fabric – adding more depth to the scene – contrasted by glossy tubing along the front of the counter. “We drew on our appetite for modern abstract art, design and hospitality to create an immersive gallery-like experience,” says the designers.

Jean-Pierre adds: “The Budapest Cafes in Chengdu and Melbourne are of the same oeuvre, with the latest venue being a mature and sophisticated evolution.” Growing into its richer palette and bolder design response, the Melbourne outpost is a stylish, more confident bolthole than its older sibling, offering style-savvy clientele a relaxed dining experience amid a camera-ready mise en scène.

biasol.com.au; thebudapestcafe.com.au

Catch up on more of the latest architectural gestures. Plus, subscribe to receive the Daily Architecture News e-letter direct to your inbox.

The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol
The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol
Counter area at The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol
Coffee machine at The Budapest Cafe in Carlton by Biasol
Interior details by Biasol
Interior details by Biasol

Related stories

Login to join the conversation

Subscriber comments are moderated first. Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language View commenting guidelines

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Further Reading
View all in Interior Design
The Gladstone members club in Lisbon by Studio Gameiro
Located in Portugal, in the heart of Lisbon’s charming Estrela district, a formerly vacant commercial space has undergone the ultimate 40-week transformation, revealing itself as a health-centric fitness and social hub called The Gladstone. Designed by local architecture practice Studio Gameiro, the soul-soothing space corrals a private gym, yoga studio, lounge, bar, cafe, spa and therapy facilities under the one worldly roof. “Our client sought to bring an international vibe to the club,” says architect and studio founder João Gameiro. “We proposed an earthy, warm and global aesthetic, where local craftsmanship and Portuguese materials are shown subtly throughout.”
Interior Design
Under the sea: Discover a cave-like jewellery store in Melbourne's upmarket Armadale
Vast, mysterious and unfathomably deep, the world’s oceans are at the heart of the new boutique for jewellery brand Sarah & Sebastian, located in Melbourne's upmarket Armadale. But expel any visions of a twinkling Tiffany store or crystal-cut Cartier shopfront. This eerie cave of wondrous delights is sooner compared to Davy Jones’ Locker or Ursula’s lair over any glitz-and-glam engagement ring dispensary.
Interior Design
The bar and restaurant at La Sastrería in Valencia by Masquespacio
Taking its inspiration from chef Sergio Giraldo and bartender Cristóbal Bouchet's shared dream to open their own restaurant, La Sastrería is a wondrous establishment in Valencia, Spain, designed by local creative consultancy Masquespacio. As with most of Masquespacio’s endeavours, the aim of the La Sastrería project was to fulfill the ambitious vision of young entrepreneurs. In this instance, a hospitable duo who seek to spearhead new culinary and sensorial experiences in the local area.
Interior Design
Destination design: Santa Monica Proper by Kelly Wearstler
In Los Angeles, locals describe the Santa Monica neighbourhood as Silicon Beach, the surfside equivalent of Silicon Valley, due to the concentration of technology, entertainment and digital media companies that have established offices just a few blocks from the ocean. Among the liveliness, the Santa Monica Proper hotel has become a smash-hit since opening mid-2019, winning the hearts of visitors and locals alike. Nestled within a six-storey Spanish Colonial Revival-style building originally designed by Arthur E. Harvey in 1928 and renovated by Howard Laks Architects, the light-filled interiors of the hotel were created by famed American designer Kelly Wearstler.
Interior Design
Mama Manana restaurant in Kyiv by Balbek Bureau
Hailing from Georgia in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, the Mama Manana group of restaurants is built on the charming tale of a Georgian hostess. Known as Mama Manana, the story goes that she regularly greets guests at the doorstep of her home and warmly welcomes them inside with an abundance of kind-hearted hospitality. Tasked with designing the restaurant group’s latest outlet in Ukraine, local architecture and interiors firm Balbek Bureau, led by practice principal Slava Balbek, borrowed inspiration from this fable and harnessed its spirit of generosity in realising a contemporary restaurant setting.
Interior Design
The eye-catching boutique at Villa Noailles by Pierre Yovanovitch
For the second consecutive year, renowned interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch worked on the retail space for Villa Noailles, an arts centre in the provincial commune of Hyères. Located on the French Riviera, it's a region the Nice-born designer knows well.

“I am fortunate to have a great and friendly working relationship with Jean-Pierre Blanc, founder of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival, the Hyères Design Parade (dedicated to design) and the Toulon Design Parade (dedicated to interior architecture),” says Pierre.
Interior Design

Back to Top