Tonka Restaurant


20 Duckboard Place Melbourne 3000


Relume Consulting was commissioned by Naomi Troski to light her work ‘Drift’ which meanders above head height through the new Tonka Restaurant. Tonka is part of the stable of restaurants run by Kate Calder, Mykal Bartholemew and Adam D’Sylva and is located in the former Honky Tonks space, a legend in Melbourne’s laneway nightclub scene.

Naomi’s work takes the form of a series of poetic clouds and gossamer threads across the ceiling of the dining area with wisps throughout the bar and approaching kitchen areas. We applied light to the work using a combination of new uplights and pre-existing luminaires. Light adds texture, revealing and concealing the clouds as they float across the ceiling, creating a dynamic with the changing daylight entering the space through foliage. The interaction of electric light, daylight, candles on tables and the simple palette in the space creates a delightful dining experience. In the words of the artist:

“‘Drift’ is a site specific installation that responds to the site, its space and light.

This large amorphous work is shaped by the space and transformed by the shifts in light and colour over the course of a day.

During the evening natural daylight is replaced with the gentle flickering of candle light and further enhanced with a designed mix of lighting. This emphasises the ephemeral and temporal nature of the work.

A sense of warmth and calm is generated through the glow of ‘Drift’ as it gently expands and contracts throughout the space and enhances the experience of dining beneath.”



Update: Tonka received a High Commendation in the 2013 Eat-Drink-Design Awards! Congratulations to Techne Architects and the whole team: http://gallery.eat-drink-design.com/entry/2013/2/238